YIN Shu-bai, LU Xian-guo. THEORY AND METHOD FOR WETLAND BOUNDARY DELINEATION[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2006, 16(1): 56-62.
Citation: YIN Shu-bai, LU Xian-guo. THEORY AND METHOD FOR WETLAND BOUNDARY DELINEATION[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2006, 16(1): 56-62.

THEORY AND METHOD FOR WETLAND BOUNDARY DELINEATION

  • Received Date: 2005-10-13
  • Publish Date: 2006-03-20
  • Based on the analysis of the subjectivity of wetland boundary criteria and their causes at present, this paper suggested that, under the condition that the mechanism of wetland formation process has not been understood, "black box" method of System Theory can be used to delineate wetland boundaries scientifically. After analyzing the difference of system construction among aquatic habitats, wetlands and uplands, the lower limit of rooted plants was chosen as the lower boundary criterion of wetlands. Because soil diagnostic horizon is the result of the long-term interaction among all environments, and it is less responsive than vegetation to short-term change, soil diagnostic horizon was chosen as the indicator to delineate wetland upper boundary, which lies at the thinning-out point of soil diagnostic horizon. Case study indicated that it was feasible using the lower limit of rooted plants and the thinning-out point of soil diagnostic horizon as criteria to delineate the lower and upper boundaries of wetland. In the study area, the thinning-out line of albic horizon was coincident with the 55.74m contour line, the maximum horizon error was less than 1m, and the maximum vertical error less than 0.04m. The problem on wetland definition always arises on the boundaries. Having delineated wetland boundaries, wetlands can be defined as follows: wetlands are the transitional zones between uplands and deepwater habitats, they are a kind of azonal complex that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water, with the lower boundary lying at the lower limit of rooted plants, and the upper boundary at the thinning-out line of upland soil diagnostic horizon.
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THEORY AND METHOD FOR WETLAND BOUNDARY DELINEATION

Abstract: Based on the analysis of the subjectivity of wetland boundary criteria and their causes at present, this paper suggested that, under the condition that the mechanism of wetland formation process has not been understood, "black box" method of System Theory can be used to delineate wetland boundaries scientifically. After analyzing the difference of system construction among aquatic habitats, wetlands and uplands, the lower limit of rooted plants was chosen as the lower boundary criterion of wetlands. Because soil diagnostic horizon is the result of the long-term interaction among all environments, and it is less responsive than vegetation to short-term change, soil diagnostic horizon was chosen as the indicator to delineate wetland upper boundary, which lies at the thinning-out point of soil diagnostic horizon. Case study indicated that it was feasible using the lower limit of rooted plants and the thinning-out point of soil diagnostic horizon as criteria to delineate the lower and upper boundaries of wetland. In the study area, the thinning-out line of albic horizon was coincident with the 55.74m contour line, the maximum horizon error was less than 1m, and the maximum vertical error less than 0.04m. The problem on wetland definition always arises on the boundaries. Having delineated wetland boundaries, wetlands can be defined as follows: wetlands are the transitional zones between uplands and deepwater habitats, they are a kind of azonal complex that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water, with the lower boundary lying at the lower limit of rooted plants, and the upper boundary at the thinning-out line of upland soil diagnostic horizon.

YIN Shu-bai, LU Xian-guo. THEORY AND METHOD FOR WETLAND BOUNDARY DELINEATION[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2006, 16(1): 56-62.
Citation: YIN Shu-bai, LU Xian-guo. THEORY AND METHOD FOR WETLAND BOUNDARY DELINEATION[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2006, 16(1): 56-62.

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