, 31:875 | Cite as

Assessment of Alpine Wetland Dynamics from 1976–2006 in the Vicinity of Mount Everest



Wetlands provide a range of critically important ecosystem services. However, a lack of reliable wetland data limits the efficacy of wetland management in remote mountainous areas. To optimize the management of wetlands in the vicinity of Mount Everest we created a new classification system for high alpine wetlands. Object-oriented image classifications and geographical information systems were used to extract wetland information for 1976, 1988, and 2006 from remote sensing data and field surveys. The results show that total area of wetlands in the vicinity of Mount Everest in 2006 was 1663.5 km2 mainly found 4100–4800 m above sea level. Wetlands had changed, and the changing area (expansion and contraction) added up to 94.5 km2 or 5.6% from 1976–2006. Temporal-spatial variation in wetlands and land cover imply that regressive succession has occurred in some areas. Natural driving forces are key factors. Data suggest that creation of the Mount Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve in 1988 positively impacted wetland conservation.


Lands cover change Qomolangma Remote sensing Tibetan Plateau 



This study was jointly supported by the One Hundred Person Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant 110900K242), National Basic Research Program of China (grant 2010CB951704), and the Strategic Advanced Sciences and Technology Program (grant XDA05050105) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Thanks to Rongfu Huang for help with species identification during field surveys. Thanks to Yili Zhang, Linshan Liu, Zhaofeng Wang, Qinqin Zhang, Yingying Wu, Xueru Zhang, and Jiping Zhang for advice on the study design and preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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