Composition and distribution of vegetation in the water level fluctuating zone of the Lantsang cascade reservoir system using UAV multispectral imagery

Weiwei Jiang, Lun Liu, Henglin Xiao, Song Zhu, Wentao Li, Ying Liu, Claudionor Ribeiro da Silva
2021 PLoS ONE  
With the development of a large number of tall dams and large cascade reservoir projects in the Lantsang River Basin, a large water level fluctuating zone (WLFZ) containing cascading reservoirs has formed. This newborn ecosystem is related to the sustainable development of hydropower projects, and has become a new problem to be studied urgently. Taking WLFZs in the Huangdeng, Xiaowan and Nuozhadu Reservoirs in the Lantsang River Basin as study areas, this study used multi-spectral
more » ... field data obtained with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to ascertain the species types, coverage, distribution characteristics, dominant species and pioneer species of naturally restored vegetation. The considered data were subjected to UAV data processing, vegetation classification using multi-spectral images and a geographic information system (GIS) terrain-distribution analysis. Results show that: Polygonum Plebeium, Cynodon dactylon, Xanthium sibiricum, Ageratum conyzoides, Eleusine indica, Digitaria sanguinalis and Verbena officinalis are the dominant species of vegetation that could be naturally restored in the WLFZ; the vegetation coverage and the number of species are significantly positively correlated with the age and restoration periods of the WLFZ; the vegetation coverage of each study area increases at first, and then decreases, as a function of elevation; gentle slopes about 0–25°are more suitable for vegetation restoration. This study provides first-hand data on the natural restoration of vegetation in WLFZs, and gives a useful reference for its ecological restoration as a consequence of hydropower cascade development in the Lantsang River Basin. Finally, the study demonstrates that light UAV remote sensing is an attractive choice for investigating vegetation in reservoir WLFZs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0247682 pmid:33780473 fatcat:owglg763gfgwbnovq3kg6aqlqq