Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Wetlands classification and assessment of Ramsar sites in China based on time-series MODIS imagery

Liwei Xing , Zhenguo Niu , Panpan Xu , Dachong Li


Wetland loss and degradation have become serious environmental and ecological issues globally. Wetland monitoring of Ramsar sites in China is an important for developing reasonable strategies to protect wetlands. Satellite image time series may be used for the long-term monitoring of wetland ecosystems. The present study employed moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) time series collected in 2001 and 2013 for 20 Ramsar sites in China, and assessed the environmental status of these reserves using landscape metrics. The results showed that (1) the specific seasonal wetland classes, such as flooded mud, permanent water, and seasonal marshes, can be identified using MODIS time series data with acceptable accuracy; (2) besides wetland area, we suggest using other landscape metrics, including landscape integrity and landscape disturbance/degradation indices, to assess wetland environmental quality; (3) the slight wetland loss (0.8%) noted in these 20 reserves could indicate the effectiveness of protective effects for Ramsar sites by the Chinese government ; and (4) the existing unfavorable environmental conditions were mainly caused by increasing water requirements outside the reserves and by agricultural development within reserves. Therefore, determining how to balance the relationship between economic development and ecological protection of the reserves will be important in the future.

MF17119  Accepted 01 September 2017

© CSIRO 2017