Document Type : Original Research Paper
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Wetlands in the Lower Reaches of Songhua River (LRSR), Northeast China, are rich in biodiversity
and natural resources, which provide crucial staging and wintering habitats for various endangered species.
However, in the past five decades, the size of this wetland area has decreased, and its quality has deteriorated because of increased natural and human activities. Wetland restoration is critical to improve these conditions. In this study, hydrological regulation and habitat suitability, the most important wetland functions, were selected and analyzed to identify suitable wetland restoration sites. By using these two function layers, together with the geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis function and remote sensing (RS) image data, we identified and prioritized suitable sites for wetland restoration in the LRSR. Areas with high hydrological regulation and good or fair waterbirds’ habitat suitability can support wetland restoration. The potential sites were prioritized in terms of patch size and proximity to natural wetlands and water bodies. Finally, we obtained two priority classes (high and low) of wetland restoration in a spatial scale. The results from this study showed that the areas with high and low priority classes for wetland restoration are 82,628 and 247,039 ha, respectively, which account for 1.23% and 3.67% of the total study area. The high-priority class areas would be used for the wetland restoration.