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Relationships between land use and multi-dimensional characteristics of streams and rivers at two different scales

  • Se-Rin Park (a1), Hyun-Joo Lee (a1), Sang-Woo Lee (a1), Soon-Jin Hwang (a1), Myeong-Seop Byeon (a2), Gea-Jae Joo (a3), Kwang-Seuk Jeong (a3), Dong-Soo Kong (a4) and Myoung-Chul Kim (a5)...


Despite numerous previous studies, relationships between watershed land use and adjacent streams and rivers at various scales in Korea remain unclear. This study investigated the relationships between land uses and the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of 720 sites of streams and rivers across the country. The land uses at two spatial scales, including a 1-km buffer and the base watershed management region (BWMR), were computed in a geographical information system (GIS) with a digital land use/land cover map. Characteristics of land uses at two spatial scales were then correlated with the monitored multidimensional characteristics of the streams and rivers. The results of this study indicate that land use types have significant effects on stream and river characteristics. Specifically, most characteristics were negatively correlated with the proportions of urban, rice paddy, agricultural, and bare soil areas and positively correlated with the amount of forest. The site-scale and BWMR-scale analyses suggest that BWMR land use patterns were more strongly related to ecological integrity than they were to site land use patterns. Improving our understanding of land use effects will largely depend on relating the results of site-specific studies that use similar response techniques and measures to evaluate ecological integrity. In addition, our results clearly indicate that the characteristics of streams and rivers are closely linked and that land use types differentially affect those characteristics. Thus, effective restoration and management for ecological integrity of lotic system should consider the physical, chemical, and biological factors in combination.

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