Hydrologic condition is a major driving force for wetland ecosystems. The influence of water regimes on vegetation distribution is of growing interest as wetlands are increasingly disturbed by climate change and intensive human activities. However, at large spatial scales, the linkage between water regimes and vegetation distribution remains poorly understood. In this study, vegetation communities in Poyang Lake wetland were classified from remote sensing imagery. Water regimes characterized by inundation duration (IDU), inundation depth (IDE), and inundation frequency were simulated using physics-based hydraulic models and were then linked with vegetation communities by a Gaussian regression model. The results showed that the Carex community was found to favor more hydrologic environments with longer IDU and deeper IDE in comparison to the Phragmites community. In addition, we found that the Carex community could survive in a relatively wider variety of hydrological conditions than the Phragmites community. For the typical sub-wetlands of the Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve (PLNNR), only the influence of IDU on the distribution of vegetation communities was significant. Outcomes of this research extend our knowledge of the dependence of wetland vegetation on hydrological conditions at larger spatial scales. The results provide practical information for ecosystem management.
- hydraulic modeling
- Poyang Lake wetland
- remote sensing
- vegetation community
- water regime
- First received 25 October 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 25 March 2016.
- © 2016 The Authors
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