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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/840

Title: Predicting freshwater habitat integrity using land-use surrogates
Authors: Amis, MA
Rouget, M
Balmford, A
Thuiller, W
Kleynhans, CJ
Day, DJC
Nel, JL
Keywords: Freshwater habitat integrity
Land use
Conservation planning
Predictive modelling
Issue Date: Apr-2007
Publisher: Water Research Commission
Citation: Amis, MA et al. 2007. Predicting freshwater habitat integrity using land-use surrogates. Water SA, Vol. 33(2), pp 215-222
Abstract: Freshwater biodiversity is globally threatened due to human disturbances, but freshwater ecosystems have been accorded less protection than their terrestrial and marine counterparts. Few criteria exist for assessing the habitat integrity of rivers and data used for such assessments are generally of limited geographical coverage. Here, a fine-scale dataset describing river integrity in north-western is used. South Africa is to explore the extent to which measures of freshwater habitat integrity can be predicted from remotely sensed data, which are readily available in many parts of the world. A spatial statistical model was built using broad land-cover variables to predict the habitat integrity (subdivided into riparian and instream integrity) of rivers. The importance of the spatial scale is also explored. Results showed that riparian and, to a lesser degree, instream habitat integrity of river systems could be predicted with reasonable accuracy. The total area under natural vegetation was the most significant predictor of riparian integrity, which is best predicted by land-use activities at catchment level, rather than more locally. GIS-based model thus provides a fine-scale approach to assessing river habitat integrity as a supplement to landscape-level conservation plans for river systems, and represents a significant contribution towards the monitoring component of the River Health Programme (RHP), which reports on the state of rivers in South Africa
Description: Copyright: 2007 Water Research Commission
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/840
ISSN: 0378-4738
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
Ecosystems processes & dynamics
General science, engineering & technology

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