Resources Science ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (2): 357-367.doi: 10.18402/resci.2021.02.13

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Ecological network analysis and construction: A case study of the urban agglomeration of the Min River Delta, China

LIU Xiaoyang1,3(), WEI Ming2, ZENG Jian3(), ZHANG Sen3   

  1. 1. School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430070, China
    2. School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
    3. School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
  • Received:2020-02-14 Revised:2020-06-15 Online:2021-02-25 Published:2021-04-25
  • Contact: ZENG Jian;


Contemporary processes of urbanization present a major pressure on aggravating the fragmentation and isolation in ecological environment. Therefore, constructing ecological networks, as an effective way to connect fragmented habitats, becomes increasingly salient in maintaining biological diversity and enhancing ecological security. This study took the urban agglomeration of the Min River Delta, China, as the study context, and developed an optimized scheme for ecological network construction with the consideration of both network connectivity and construction cost. In this study, drawing on a series of indicators, including terrain, landscape, vegetation cover and human activities, a habitat suitability index was established to identify the habitats in the study area. The rectified night satellite images coupled with local land use were incorporated to build the ecological resistance surface. With the two essential elementshabitats and ecological resistance surface as input, the ecological corridors were identified using the minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model and then classified by a new accessibility potential model. Based on these classified ecological corridors, different schemes of ecological network were proposed by computing a set of connectivity indices. Given the network connectivity and construction costs, this study finally presented an optimized ecological network construction scheme. The results show that: (1) The identified habitats are 45, with a total area of 3542 km2; the 990 ecological corridors have a cumulative length of 5941 km; (2) Both habitats and ecological corridors are spatially concentrated in the northwestern hilly areas and seldom found in the northeastern coastal areas; (3) The maximum value of the ratio of network connectivity and construction costs is at the 73th percentile. Under this scheme, 268 corridors connecting 45 habitats are identified. Our results may provide some scientific basis for constructing and optimizing the ecological network in the urban agglomeration of the Min River Delta.

Key words: ecological habitat, minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model, ecological corridor, ecological network, network connectivity index, urban agglomeration of the Min River Delta