Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 42-50.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018249

Special Issue: 钱江源国家公园生物多样性保护与管理

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Using low-altitude UAV remote sensing to identify national park functional zoning boundary: A case study in Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot

Li Jie1,Li Weiyue1,*(),Fu Jing1,Gao Jun1,Yang Lei2,He Weihang1   

  1. 1 School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234
    2 College of Life Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234
  • Received:2018-09-17 Accepted:2019-01-07 Online:2019-01-20 Published:2019-03-15
  • Contact: Li Weiyue


Delineating areas within a national park for different uses and management plans is important for protecting the land. Functional zones may be designated based on administrative boundaries, natural geographical boundaries, or a manual survey. However, the current delineation practice barely considers the integrity of the local ecosystem or human factors, which results in unreasonable and unclear boundaries. Considering two typical areas with large human interference in Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot as an example, we employed both low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing technology and on-the-ground field vegetation surveys to evaluate the legitimacy of the already established functional zoning boundaries. The results show that 53,550 m 2 and 19,667 m 2 of the functional area surrounding Henglingjiao and Gutianshan Visitor Center had been modified, respectively, accounting for 29.75% and 16.39% of the aerial study area. Misclassification of functional zoning may occur due to (1) difficulties in distinguishing between areas with large human disturbances and natural features; and (2) partitioning the natural forests into small sections that do not consider the integrity of the vegetative system, which results in lower levels of protection. This study uses a combination of aerial imagery and ground surveys to provide a reasonable and feasible method for the future identification and refinement of functional boundaries in national parks so as to best protect local ecosystem integrity and to reduce human disturbance factors.

Key words: low-altitude UAV remote sensing, on-the-ground field survey, national park, functional zoning, human interference, boundary identification