PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (2): 298-307.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.02.016

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Kilometer-scale layout of ecological landscape corridors based on terrain factors

WEN Xiaojin1, YANG Haijuan1, LIU Yanxu2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environment, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China;
    2. College of Tourism and Environment Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
  • Received:2012-08-01 Revised:2012-11-01 Online:2013-02-25 Published:2013-02-07

Abstract: Landscape ecological corridor planning is an important method to protect biodiversity. Land use type is not the only index to describe landscape forms. Taking the estimation of ecological service value as well as terrain index into account helps better reflect the spatial variations of landscapes. In this paper, based on ecological service value and terrain factors, the layout of ecological landscape corridors in Guan-Tian economic region is analyzed with a grid resolution of 1 km. The results are shown as follows: (1) Correlation analysis shows that terrain factors have a significant impact on the distribution of ecological value. When the ridges and valleys are extracted using the unified threshold, it is found that the areas with high or low ecological values are ridges or valleys of the terrain as well; the transition zones superimpose very well. (2) The ridges with high ecological value are extracted as habitat patches, then the layout of ecological corridors is modeled in space by choosing the direction through the areas with the biggest ecological resistance. Since the corridor width can be adjusted based on the species types, the relatively short length of the corridors makes it easier to construct, and adding or removing nodes and patches doesn’t affect the topological relationship between each corridor and the surrounding network, the applicability of the modeling results is relatively high. (3) As mentioned above, using ecological service value and terrain factors help better reflect the similarities and differences of the landscape functions of the pixel unit, and also helps avoid the problems such as land use classifications being too broadly defined, identifications of habitat patches being too difficult, and the paths with similar ecological resistance being too many, etc. All in all, the work presented in this paper is an effective supplement to the design of ecological corridors in a kilometer scale, and at the same time, demonstrates the necessity to develop the methods for the studies of ecological aspects of the landscapes in specific regions, under the background of dramatic differences of the geographic features between the east and the west of China.

Key words: corridor, ecological service value, Guan-Tian economic region, landscape, terrain