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China's continuous and rapid economic growth has led to the reclamation of large sections of the intertidal mud coast in combination with port construction, such as that of the proposed Tongzhou Bay port on the Jiangsu coast. These reclamations threaten the local ecosystem services. An ecotope distribution map was created and a hydrodynamic numerical model of Tongzhou Bay was set up to quantify the impacts of reclamation on the ecosystem. Based on the field data and model results, several abiotic features were classified into 11 ecotopes and visualized in an ecotope map of the Tongzhou Bay ecosystem. Validation with spatial distributions of two threatened shorebird species (bar-tailed godwit and great knot) showed confirmation with the mid-range and low-range littoral zones (inundated from 40% to 100% of a tidal cycle), indicating the importance of the areas with these conditions to these populations. Overlaying the ecotope map with recent and proposed land reclamation schemes revealed a loss of ecotopes, composed of the high-range (42%), mid-range (48%), and low-range (38%) littoral habitats, corresponding to a 44%–45% loss of the most important ecotopes for bar-tailed godwit and great knot (mid-range and low-range littoral zones). These results confirm the applicability of the novel ecotope assessment approach in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Engineering
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Ecotope, Ecotope map, Intertidal mudflats, Jiangsu coast, Mapping, Migratory shorebirds, Reclamation, Tongzhou Bay

ID: 72397909