Demosite Location
Demosite Location


Demosite Location

Information about lithology/geochemistry:

Alluvial plains, main soil type in this region is Albic soils, Bog soils and Meadow soils.

Main Description

  • The Honghe region is located in the northeast Sanjiang Plain in Heilongjiang Province including four portions: the Honghe National Nature Reserve (HNNR) and three farms. The Sanjiang Plain has the most representative density of inland freshwater wetlands in China.
  • 90% of marsh wetland has been lost from 1975 to 2006 and its area declined sharply around the three main farming businesses of the demosite which intensively use water from wetlands and groundwater.
  • HNNR is listed in the Ramsar Convention with High Biodiversity Status.

Conserve Ecohydrological processes in natural ecosystem


Enhance ecohydrological processes in novel ecosystem


Apply complementary Ecohydrological processes in high impacted system


This table presents the different categories of ecosystem services that ecosystem can provide, divided in:

Provisioning Services are ecosystem services that describe the material or energy outputs from ecosystems. They include food, water and other resources.

Food: Ecosystems provide the conditions for growing food. Food comes principally from managed agro-ecosystems but marine and freshwater systems or forests also provide food for human consumption. Wild foods from forests are often underestimated.

Fresh water: Ecosystems play a vital role in the global hydrological cycle, as they regulate the flow and purification of water. Vegetation and forests influence the quantity of water available locally.

Regulating Services are the services that ecosystems provide by acting as regulators eg. regulating the quality of air and soil or by providing flood and disease control.

Local climate and air quality: Trees provide shade whilst forests influence rainfall and water availability both locally and regionally. Trees or other plants also play an important role in regulating air quality by removing pollutants from the atmosphere.

Carbon sequestration and storage: Ecosystems regulate the global climate by storing and sequestering greenhouse gases. As trees and plants grow, they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and effectively lock it away in their tissues. In this way forest ecosystems are carbon stores. Biodiversity also plays an important role by improving the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Moderation of extreme events: Extreme weather events or natural hazards include floods, storms, tsunamis, avalanches and landslides. Ecosystems and living organisms create buffers against natural disasters, thereby preventing possible damage. For example, wetlands can soak up flood water whilst trees can stabilize slopes. Coral reefs and mangroves help protect coastlines from storm damage.

Erosion prevention and maintenance of soil fertility: Soil erosion is a key factor in the process of land degradation and desertification. Vegetation cover provides a vital regulating service by preventing soil erosion. Soil fertility is essential for plant growth and agriculture and well functioning ecosystems supply the soil with nutrients required to support plant growth.

Ecosystem services "that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services". These include services such as nutrient recycling, primary production and soil formation.

Maintenance of genetic diversity: Genetic diversity is the variety of genes between and within species populations. Genetic diversity distinguishes different breeds or races from each other thus providing the basis for locally well-adapted cultivars and a gene pool for further developing commercial crops and livestock. Some habitats have an exceptionally high number of species which makes them more genetically diverse than others and are known as ‘biodiversity hotspots’.

Cultural Services corresponds nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences.

Tourism: Ecosystems and biodiversity play an important role for many kinds of tourism which in turn provides considerable economic benefits and is a vital source of income for many countries. In 2008 global earnings from tourism summed up to US$ 944 billion. Cultural and eco-tourism can also educate people about the importance of biological diversity.

Aesthetic appreciation and inspiration for culture, art and design: Language, knowledge and the natural environment have been intimately related throughout human history. Biodiversity, ecosystems and natural landscapes have been the source of inspiration for much of our art, culture and increasingly for science.


Demosite Location
Life zone
Rain Tundra

PPT(mm/yr): 585.0

T(ºc): 1.8

Elevation of demosite: 54.0 meters above sea level
Humidity: Superhumid
PETr (by year): 0.18

EH Principles

Quantification of the hydrological processes at catchment scale and mapping the impacts

Distribution of ecosystems and their relevant processes (ex: metabolism=water and nutrient uptake and retention; biomass production)


Marsh classification mapping using high-resolution imagery


Quantifying the different dynamic patterns of soil water linking with different plants


Use of the dam to control water levels on marsh

Hydrological Flow

Major Issues

  • Decrease of the shallow groundwater depth in the buffer zone (fig.1).
  • Decrease of Woyalan River’s water level in the core zone.
  • Loss of natural wetlands (fig.2).
  • Irrigation expansion.

Social ecohydrological system

EH Objectives

Cultural Heritage

EH Methodology

  • Coupling Model linking wetland Ecology & Hydrology.

  • Spatial-temporal model by GIS & RS.

  • Driving force model linking wetland with eco-social system.

Catchment Ecohydrological sub-system


  • Scientific policy for balancing sustainable development and healthy ecosystem on the water issue.

  • Predicting quantitatively the wetland plant ecosystem responding to the change of hydrologic regime.

  • Stakeholders

  • Researchers (College of Resources and Environments, CNU).

  • National Natural Scientific Foundation of China.

  • HNNR.

  • Farms surrounding HNNR.

  • Catchment Sociological sub-system


    • Spatial prediction of the changes in landscape patterns to assess the impact of the new dam through the running of three scenarios of water-level rises.

    • Modelling the spatial distribution of marsh plants.

    • Mapping of 2D and 3D biota maps of the HNNR area.

    • Providing appropriate management strategies for marsh restoration and conservation.

    Expected Outcomes

    • Maintain sustainable economic benefits while preserving the HNNR.

    Latest Results

    • Distance to waterbody and surface water depth together explained 70 % of the variability related to the presence of Carex pseudocuraica (Cuicui Jiao and D. Zhou, 2012).

    • Results from the three scenarios indicate that recovery of wetland vegetation is nonlinearly related to water-level adjustment and with 30 cm increase in water level at a new dam. Both areas of marshes and open water significantly increased, while the area of degraded marsh and non-marsh communities decline (D. Zhou et al., 2013).


    Huili GONG

    • College of Resources Environment and Tourism (CNU)

    Demin ZHOU

    • College of Resources Environment and Tourism (CNU)



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