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Quantifying the Relative Importance of Climate Change and Human Activities on Selected Wetland Ecosystems in China

1
Key Laboratory of Geographical Processes and Ecological Security in Changbai Mountains, Ministry of Education, School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
2
School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3
School of Tourism and Geography Science, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030912
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 11 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 26 January 2020
Climate change and human activities are important factors driving changes in wetland ecosystems. It is therefore crucial to quantitatively characterize the relative importance of these stressors in wetlands. Previous such analyses have generally not distinguished between wetland types, or have focused on individual wetland types. In this study, three representative wetland areas of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Heilongjiang River Basin (HRB) were selected as the study area. An object-based classification was used with Landsat TM data to extract the spatial distribution of wetland in 1990, 2000 and 2010. We then quantified the relative importance of climate change and human activities on the wetlands by using the R package “relaimpo” package. The results indicated that: (1) the effects of human activities on wetland changes were greater (contribution rate of 63.57%) than climate change in the HRB. Specifically, there were differences in the relative importance of climate change and human activities for wetlands in different regions. Wetlands of the upper reaches were more affected by climate change, while wetlands in the middle and lower reaches were more affected by human activities; (2) climate change had a greater impact (contribution rate of 65.72%) on low intensity wetland loss, while human activities had a greater impact on moderate and severe intensity wetland loss, with respective contribution rates of 57.22% and 70.35%; (3) climate change had a larger effect on the shrub and forested wetland changes, with respective contribution rates of 58.33% and 52.58%. However, human activities had a larger effect on herbaceous wetland changes, with a contribution rate of 72.28%. Our study provides a useful framework for wetland assessment and management, and could be a useful tool for developing wetland utilization and protection approaches, particularly in sensitive environments in mid- and high-latitude areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; human activities; wetland; relative importance climate change; human activities; wetland; relative importance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dang, Y.; He, H.; Zhao, D.; Sunde, M.; Du, H. Quantifying the Relative Importance of Climate Change and Human Activities on Selected Wetland Ecosystems in China. Sustainability 2020, 12, 912. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030912

AMA Style

Dang Y, He H, Zhao D, Sunde M, Du H. Quantifying the Relative Importance of Climate Change and Human Activities on Selected Wetland Ecosystems in China. Sustainability. 2020; 12(3):912. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030912

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dang, Yongcai, Hongshi He, Dandan Zhao, Michael Sunde, and Haibo Du. 2020. "Quantifying the Relative Importance of Climate Change and Human Activities on Selected Wetland Ecosystems in China" Sustainability 12, no. 3: 912. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030912

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