Resources Science ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (6): 1267-1276.doi: 10.18402/resci.2018.06.16

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal variation in landscape leakiness and the influencing factors in the riparian vegetation buffer zone of the Beijiang River

Shanshan XU1,2(), Qinghe ZHAO1,2(), Zihao CAO1,2, Yifan ZHANG1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Geospatial Technology for the Middle and Lower Yellow River Regions, Ministry of Education, Kaifeng 475004, China
    2. College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China
  • Received:2017-01-09 Revised:2017-09-28 Online:2018-06-25 Published:2018-06-22


Landscape leakiness describes the extent to which landscapes have lost their capacity to regulate rainwater and soil nutrients, which can provide an approach to assess landscape function. In this study, taking the riparian vegetation buffer zone of the Beijiang River as a case study, the leakiness index (LI), an indicator for reflecting landscape leakiness, was applied to evaluate the soil and water conservation function of the riparian vegetation buffer zone. Based on the DEM and vegetation data derived from remote sensing images from 1995-2015, we explained the calculation process of LI and verified the applicability of LI in the study area using the USLE model. We analyzed spatial-temporal variation in landscape leakiness and associated factors. The results showed that LI presented better applicability in the riparian vegetation buffer zone of the Beijiang River according to a significantly positive correlation between LI and soil erosion modulus. Temporal and spatial variation in landscape leakiness was obvious and generally showed an increasing tendency during 1995-2015. While landscape leakiness in several typical areas was higher with fluctuated change, such as Shaoguan, Nanxiong and Qingyuan. Land use changes, especially forest and construction land were major factors affecting landscape leakiness variation. Specifically, LI presented inverse variation with changes in the proportion of forest land area, and the same tendency with construction land. Results from this study can provide a reference for the applicability of LI and the evaluation of water and soil conservation function of riparian vegetation buffer zone in subtropical areas.

Key words: leakiness index, vegetation and terrain, soil and water conservation, riparian vegetation buffer zone, spatio-temporal variation, influencing factors, Beijiang River