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Natural Resources Science


Riparian zone is crucial to the health of streams and their surrounding environment. Evaluation of riparian condition is essential to achieve and maintain good stream health, as well as to sustain ecological functions that riparian areas provide. This manuscript is aimed to evaluate riparian conditions of Songhua River, the fifth longest river in China, using physical structural integrality (PSI) values derived from remote sensing and validated by field measurements. The variation and clusters of PSI values were discriminated by the spatial statistics to quantify variation of riparian condition in each measurement section. Evaluation results derived from 13 measurement sections indicated that over 60% of the riparian zones have been disturbed by human activities. Analysis of land use patterns of riparian zone in the cold and hot spots found that land-use patterns had an important effect on riparian condition. The build-up and farmland areas had been the main human disturbances to the riparian condition, which were increased from 1976 to 2013. The low-low clusters (low PSI values with low neighbors) of PSI values can be implemented to identify the vulnerability of the riparian zone.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Anthony Campbell is a lab assistant in the URI Laboratory for Terrestrial Remote Sensing.