JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (9): 1482-1494.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20160840

• Resource Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Effects of Rural Roads on Forest Structure at the Community Level in Three Gorges Reservoir Area

MA Xue-ying1, SHAO Jing-an1, 2, XU Xin-liang3   

  1. 1. College of Geographical Science, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 400047, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Environment Remote Sensing in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, Chongqing 400047, China;
    3. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-08-04 Revised:2016-09-23 Online:2017-09-20 Published:2017-09-20
  • Supported by:
    National Science and Technology Support Program “Research and Demonstration on the Quality Control and Efficient Management Technology of Construction in the Yangtze River”, No.2015BAD07B04

Abstract: Road as an artificial disturbance medium is considered as one of the main driving forces of the evolution of forest landscape and the conversion of forest usage at small spatial and temporal scales. It shows obvious “Channel-barrier” effect. Xituo town of Shizhu County in Chongqing city was selected as a research area. We used the buffer and overlay function in ArcGIS based on three phase remote sensing images and servey data to analyze the effects of road evolution on the changes of types, ages and origins of forest landscape. Results showed that: 1) The number of roads firstly increased and then decreased, and the road quality was most improved in substandard roads and village roads. 2) The disturbance of roads on forest landscape is obvious. The fragmentation of forest type, forest age and forest origin was higher in buffer zones of roads than in non-buffer zones of roads. Comparing the two periods of 1992-2002 and 2002-2014, the shrub forest, young forest and coppice forest reduced significantly in the first period, and the reduction were higher in buffer zones of roads than in non-buffer zones of roads. In the latter period, arbor forest, middle and old age forest increased, but shrubs and mature forests slightly reduced, among which the increase of arbor forest in buffer zones of roads was greater than in non-buffer zones of roads and the increase of middle age forest and coppice forest were lower in buffer zones than in non-buffer zones. 3) In the influence area of roads, if there is no intervention of policies, the increase of new roads and the improvement of road quality degraded the forest landscape, while the disappearance of low level roads was benefit to the restoration of forest landscape.

Key words: community level, forest structure, rural road network, Three Gorges Reservoir Area

CLC Number: 

  • Q149