Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 93–110 | Cite as

Developing a wetland-type classification system in the Republic of Korea

Special Feature: Original Paper Diversity of ecological restoration in East Asia

Abstract

Though there are wetlands listed by the IUCN and wetland protection areas designated by the government, it is presumed that there would be more wetlands in Korea when they are surveyed and classified according to international wetland criteria, but a considerable amount of area is yet to be identified. Therefore, in order to conduct a systematic status survey on the wetlands of Korea, a wetland classification system needs to be developed first. The objectives of this paper include reviewing international wetland classifications and mapping systems of the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and North Korea and developing a wetland classification and mapping system appropriate to Korea based on an understanding of the major case examples of wetland types. Then, the developed system was applied to the Phanmun field watershed located at the western DMZ in Korea to conduct a case study. The overall process of a wetland classification and mapping system developed in this study is undertaken as the following from step 1 to step 5. First, wetlands are identified based on three parameters: hydrology, hydrophytes and hydric soil. Second, wetland delineation distinguished wetland areas and non-wetland areas by identifying wetlands through a field survey. Third, an ecological survey is conducted in order to classify wetland characteristics and types for the target area. Ecological survey items include the topography, landscape, biota, pollutant sources and land use status. Fourth, a wetland classification is developed through a hybrid approach based on HGM (the hydrogeomorphic method). Level 1 is classified into inland, estuarine and costal areas. Level 2, the target area, is classified as an eco-region at a watershed level, and level 3 is classified into depression, riverine, slope, flat and fringe areas based on a HGM approach. Level 4 is classified into detailed wetland types based on specific characteristics of wetlands. Level 5 is classified into marsh and swamp based on grasslands and shrubs and forest trees. Level 6 indicates the dominant vegetation communities.

Keywords

Wetland Wetland-type classification HGM NWI Eco-region Hybrid approach 

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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Laboratory of Environmental Ecological Planning, Division of Landscape Architecture and Rural System EngineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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