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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2011

Se-Rin Park
Department of Environmental Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea
Hyun-Joo Lee
Department of Environmental Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea
Sang-Woo Lee*
Department of Environmental Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea
Soon-Jin Hwang
Department of Environmental Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea
Myeong-Seop Byeon
Department of Water Management, The Environmental Research Institute, Inchon 404-708, Republic of Korea
Gea-Jae Joo
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Pusan 609-735, Republic of Korea
Kwang-Seuk Jeong
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Pusan 609-735, Republic of Korea
Dong-Soo Kong
Department of Biology, Kyonggi University, Suwon 443-760, Republic of Korea
Myoung-Chul Kim
SOKN Institute of Ecology & Conservation, Seoul 110-034, Republic of Korea
*Corresponding author:


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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.

Research Article
© EDP Sciences, 2011


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