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Article

Grading Evaluation of the Structural Connectivity of River System Networks Based on Ecological Functions, and a Case Study of the Baiyangdian Wetland, China

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2 and 1,2,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rui Cortes
Water 2021, 13(13), 1775; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131775
Received: 9 April 2021 / Revised: 18 June 2021 / Accepted: 23 June 2021 / Published: 27 June 2021
River system network (RSN) connectivity is important to maintain the environmental and ecological functions of wetlands. Quantitative evaluation of connectivity can provide crucial support for efforts to improve wetland connectivity and to restore and protect wetland ecosystems. Most existing evaluation methods uniformly generalise RSN to form an undifferentiated RSN of edges and nodes that is taken as a whole to evaluate the connectivity. However, actual RSNs comprise rivers, canals, ditches, lakes, and ponds, which differ substantially in their structures, morphologies, and attributes. The mix of RSN elements therefore defines grades that give RSNs distinctive characteristics. Moreover, RSNs with different grades perform different ranges of environmental and ecological functions. The existing evaluation methods, which have some limitations, do not account for these characteristics. To account for these differences, we examined the grade characteristics and their impact on environmental and ecological functions. We established a grading system of RSN elements and a grading method of RSN, and constructed the structural connectivity evaluation indicator system for RSNs at different grades. On this basis, we propose a method for grading evaluation of RSN connectivity. We used China’s Baiyangdian Wetland to demonstrate the use of the system and validate the results. The proposed method provided an objective and accurate evaluation of RSN connectivity and clarified the differences in connectivity among RSNs with different grades, thereby providing improved guidance for the development and maintenance of the environmental and ecological functions of RSNs. View Full-Text
Keywords: connectivity evaluation; structural connectivity; grade of river system networks; ecological functions of river system networks; Lake Baiyangdian connectivity evaluation; structural connectivity; grade of river system networks; ecological functions of river system networks; Lake Baiyangdian
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tian, K.; Yin, X.-a.; Bai, J.; Yang, W.; Zhao, Y.-w. Grading Evaluation of the Structural Connectivity of River System Networks Based on Ecological Functions, and a Case Study of the Baiyangdian Wetland, China. Water 2021, 13, 1775. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131775

AMA Style

Tian K, Yin X-a, Bai J, Yang W, Zhao Y-w. Grading Evaluation of the Structural Connectivity of River System Networks Based on Ecological Functions, and a Case Study of the Baiyangdian Wetland, China. Water. 2021; 13(13):1775. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131775

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tian, Kai, Xin-an Yin, Jie Bai, Wei Yang, and Yan-wei Zhao. 2021. "Grading Evaluation of the Structural Connectivity of River System Networks Based on Ecological Functions, and a Case Study of the Baiyangdian Wetland, China" Water 13, no. 13: 1775. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131775

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