|Title||Impact of human activities on water level and clarity and underwater light climate of Vallisneria spiralis L. in Poyan Lake, China|
|Source||Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Andrew Skidmore; Herbert Prins, co-promotor(en): J. de Leeuw. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085049074 - 119|
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
|Keyword(s)||meren - china - water - oppervlaktewater - waterkwaliteit - watervogels - waterplanten - lichtsterkte - vallisneria spiralis - troebelheid - voedselplanten - groei - remote sensing - oppervlaktewaterkwaliteit - waterstand - aquatische ecosystemen - menselijke invloed - lakes - china - water - surface water - water quality - waterfowl - aquatic plants - light intensity - vallisneria spiralis - turbidity - food plants - growth - remote sensing - surface water quality - water level - aquatic ecosystems - human impact|
|Abstract||Almost 95% of the world population of Siberian crane (Grus leucogeranus) winter in Poyang Lake, China. Here they forage on the tubers of the submerged aquatic macrophyte Vallisneria spiralis L. The growth and production of V. spiralis are regulated by the local hydrology, which might also be influenced by the changed hydrology of the Yangtze River induced by engineering projects. This thesis investigated the impact of dredging activities in the northern Poyang Lake and the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River on the water turbidity and water level of Poyang Lake, analyzed how these hydrological changes influenced the underwater light climate of V. spiralis, and discussed their potential impacts on the growth and productivity of V. spiralis and further on the food habitat of Siberian crane in Poyang Lake. The principal results obtained can be summarized as follows:
(1) Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat thematic mapper (TM) images were compared for mapping the tempo-spatial dynamics of water clarity. Two multiple regression models including the blue and red bands of Landsat TM and MODIS respectively explained 83% and 88% of the variation of the natural logarithm of Secchi disk depth. On the basis of the comparison of water clarity predicted from Landsat TM and MODIS data as well as the advantages and contras of both sensors, it is concluded that MODIS offers the possibility to monitor the dynamics of water clarity more regularly and cheaply in relatively big and frequently cloud covered lakes like Poyang Lake.
(2) The performance of the various Landsat TM bands for detecting dredging ships was explored in the turbid water of the northern Poyang Lake. The result revealed that the TM bands 1 to 4 had limitation especially in turbid water, while bands 5 and 7 better discriminated vessels from surrounding waters. Therefore, it is recommended using the mid-infrared bands of Landsat TM for operational ship monitoring in turbid water.
(3) The possibility to strengthen inference of dredging impact while simultaneously monitoring vessels and water turbidity with remote sensing techniques was investigated in the northern Poyang Lake. Time-series MODIS images revealed a significant increase in water turbidity from 2001 onwards, while Landsat TM image analysis indicated a simultaneous increase in the number of vessels. Regression analysis further showed a highly significant positive relation (R2 = 0.92) between water turbidity and vessel number. On the basis of discussion of ship-related resuspension, final destinations of vessels and coincidence of vessel clusters with irregular dented patterns and turbid plume development, it is confirmed that dredging caused the increase in water turbidity. Therefore, it is concluded that simultaneously monitoring water turbidity and vessels enhanced the strength of evidence in remotely sensed dredging impact assessments.
(4) Three extrapolation and interpolation methods were compared for predicting daily photosynthetically active radiation reaching the earth surface over the Poyang Lake national nature reserve. The result revealed that the triangulated irregular network (TIN) and inverse distance weighted (IDW)-based interpolation method produced more reliable result than the extrapolation methods.
(5) The photosynthetically active radiation reaching the top of V. spiralis (PARlc) in Lake Dahuchi from 1998 to 2006 was modelled. The results revealed significant between year differences in PARtc, which were determined primarily by fluctuation in water level. Six years of Secchi disk depth records revealed seasonal switching of the lake from turbid at low water level in autumn, winter and spring to clear at high water level in summer. The highest PARtc occurred at intermediate water levels, which were reached when the Yangtze River forces Lake Dahuchi out of its turbid state in spring. The operation of the Three Gorges Dam, which will increase water level of Yangtze River from May to June may force Lake Dahuchi out of its turbid state earlier and increase the light intensity reaching the canopy and the production of V spiralis. It is concluded that the operation of the Three Gorges Dam might at the short term increase the light regime and productivity of V. spiralis and possibly affect the food habitat of Siberian crane in Poyang Lake.
(6) A conceptual framework to integrate a simulation model of plant biomass for V. spiralis with remote sensing and a geographical information system was introduced. It is expected that the system, once implemented, could contribute to evaluate the impact of possible hydrological changes on the growth and productivity of V. spiralis, and assess whether tuber feeding bird populations are constrained by the regional availability of food resources in Lake Poyang.
It is anticipated that these results provide a basis for the future research and necessary information for decision-making that need to be made by the responsible authorities to decide how to rationally manage this unique lake ecosystem.