IAHR, founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent member-based organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydroinformatics, and hydraulic machinery.
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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 34th Congress - Brisbane (2011) : THEME 5: Environmental Hydraulics and Hydrology : Linking surface hydrological connectivity patterns with landscape functionality in semiarid australi...
Linking surface hydrological connectivity patterns with landscape functionality in semiarid australian ecosystems
Author : M. Moreno-de las Heras1, P.M. Saco1 and G.R. Willgoose1
Water-limited ecosystems generally show self-organized spatial patterns as mosaic-like structures of sources and sinks of water runoff and sediments with variable interconnection. Variations in climate and land uses can disrupt the spatial organization of vegetation and change hydrologic response, causing a substantial loss of water and soil resources by increasing landscape hydrological connectivity and, hence, affecting ecosystem functionality. We explore the connectivity patterns (i.e. flowlength probability distribution) obtained from the coupled analysis of satellite images and digital elevation models from several well preserved and degraded semiarid Mulga landscapes with banded vegetation. Our analysis reveals a major role of surface connectivity in ecosystem function. Indeed, actual connectivity patterns are tightly linked to the spatial organization of vegetation while, at the same time, show a high sensitivity to degradation processes, suggesting a threshold behaviour upon landscape functionality. These results highlight connectivity patterns as practical indicators for monitoring the landscape health in drylands.
File Size : 1,081,045 bytes
File Type : Adobe Acrobat Document
Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 34th Congress - Brisbane (2011)
Article : THEME 5: Environmental Hydraulics and Hydrology
Date Published : 01/07/2011
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