ZHENG Zongsheng, ZHOU Yunxuan, TIAN Bo, DING Xianwen. The spatial relationship between salt marsh vegetation patterns, soil elevation and tidal channels using remote sensing at Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, China[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2016, 35(4): 26-34. doi: 10.1007/s13131-016-0831-z
Citation: ZHENG Zongsheng, ZHOU Yunxuan, TIAN Bo, DING Xianwen. The spatial relationship between salt marsh vegetation patterns, soil elevation and tidal channels using remote sensing at Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, China[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2016, 35(4): 26-34. doi: 10.1007/s13131-016-0831-z

The spatial relationship between salt marsh vegetation patterns, soil elevation and tidal channels using remote sensing at Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, China

doi: 10.1007/s13131-016-0831-z
  • Received Date: 2014-10-09
  • Rev Recd Date: 2015-01-08
  • The analysis of vegetation-environment relationships has always been a study hotspot in ecology. A number of biotic, hydrologic and edaphic factors have great influence on the distribution of macrophytes within salt marsh. Since the exotic species Spartina alterniflora(S. alterniflora) was introduced in 1995, a rapid expansion has occurred at Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve(CDNR) in the Changjiang(Yangtze) River Estuary, China. Several important vegetation-environment factors including soil elevation, tidal channels density(TCD), vegetation classification and fractional vegetation cover(FVC) were extracted by remote sensing method combined with field measurement. To ignore the details in interaction between biological and physical process, the relationship between them was discussed at a large scale of the whole saltmarsh. The results showed that Scirpus mariqueter(S. mariqueter) can endure the greatest elevation variance with 0.33 m throughout the marsh in CDNR. But it is dominant in the area less than 2.5 m with the occurrence frequency reaching 98%. S. alterniflora has usually been found on the most elevated soils higher than 3.5 m but has a narrow spatial distribution. The rapid decrease of S. mariqueter can be explained by stronger competitive capacity of S. alterniflora on the high tidal flat. FVC increases with elevation which shows significant correlation with elevation(r=0.30, p<0.001). But the frequency distribution of FVC indicates that vegetation is not well developed on both elevated banks near tidal channels from the whole scale mainly due to tidal channel lateral swing and human activities. The significant negative correlation(r=-0.20, p<0.001) was found between FVC and TCD, which shows vegetation is restricted to grow in higher TCD area corresponding to lower elevation mainly occupied by S. mariqueter communities. The maximum occurrence frequency of this species reaches to 97% at the salt marsh with TCD more than 8 m/m2.
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