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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1117; doi:10.3390/su8111117

Assessing the Habitat Suitability of Dam Reservoirs: A Quantitative Model and Case Study of the Hantan River Dam, South Korea

1
Division of Water Environment, Korea Environment Institute, 370 Sicheong-daero, Sejong 30147, Korea
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Korea
3
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Plant Engineering, Konkuk University, 120, Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shelley Burgin
Received: 21 August 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wildlife Management)
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Abstract

The main objective of this study was to investigate ecologically healthy regions near a dam reservoir. This study developed a model for assessing habitat suitability as a proxy for the ecological value of reservoirs. Three main factors comprising nine assessment variables were selected and classified as having a habitat suitability (HS) between 0 and 1: (1) geomorphic factors of altitude, slope steepness, and slope aspect; (2) vegetation factors of forest physiognomy, vegetation type, and tree age; and (3) ecological factors of land cover, ecological quality index, and environmental conservation value assessment. The spatial distribution of the nine HS indices was determined using geographic information systems and combined into one HS index value to determine ecologically healthy regions. The assessment model was applied to areas surrounding the Hantan River Dam, South Korea. To verify the model, wildlife location data from the national ecosystem survey of the Ministry of Environment were used. Areas with an HS index between 0.73 and 1 were found to contain 72% of observed wildlife locations. Ecologically healthy areas were identified by adding the indices of each variable. The methods shown here will be useful for establishing ecological restoration plans for dam reservoirs in South Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: dam reservoir; ecological factors; environmental factors; geographic information systems; geomorphic factors; habitat suitability (HS); restoration dam reservoir; ecological factors; environmental factors; geographic information systems; geomorphic factors; habitat suitability (HS); restoration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, H.; Um, M.-J.; Park, D. Assessing the Habitat Suitability of Dam Reservoirs: A Quantitative Model and Case Study of the Hantan River Dam, South Korea. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1117.

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