Biodiversity Science ›› 2006, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (2): 98-106.doi: 10.1360/biodiv.050161

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Assessment of function area design in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve using landscape ecology principles

Linyan Zhang1, 2*, Wanhui Ye1, Zhongliang Huang1   

  1. 1 South China Botanical Garden, Guangzhou 510650
    2 Internatinal Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093
  • Received:2005-07-25 Revised:2006-02-28 Online:2006-03-20
  • Linyan Zhang1

Principles of landscape ecology are playing significant roles in the design and management of nature reserves. Three function zones (core zone, buffer zone, and transitional zone) in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, the first nature reserve of China, were designed in 1988 and then readjusted in 2001 to make the di-vision more reasonable. Based on vegetation map data of 1985 and 2000, we assessed the two designs using landscape ecology principles. And the changes in vegetation composition and landscape patterns between the two designs were compared. The results showed that, during the past 15 years, vegetations in the three func-tion zones were in the process of ordinal succession, meanwhile the vegetation patches became more irregu-lar. In each function zone, vegetation landscape had changed in different ways because of the different origi-nal vegetation types and human disturbance intensity: the core zone and transitional zone had become more continuous, whereas the buffer zone more fragmented resulted from excessive tourism. After readjustment of the design, the integrity of landscape vegetation in the core zone is maintained. Compared the two designs, the similarity index of vegetation landscape ranked as core zone > transition zone > buffer zone. We sug-gest setting the newly established buffer zone as an example of eco-tourism in order to protect the previous buffer zone against an excessive influx of tourists.

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