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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 409439, 10 pages
Research Article

Impacts of Intensified Agriculture Developments on Marsh Wetlands

1Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 4888 Shengbei Street, Changchun 130102, China
2College of Resources, Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China

Received 8 May 2013; Accepted 19 June 2013

Academic Editors: J. Bai, H. Cao, and A. Li

Copyright © 2013 Zhaoqing Luan and Demin Zhou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A spatiotemporal analysis on the changes in the marsh landscape in the Honghe National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar reserve, and the surrounding farms in the core area of the Sanjiang Plain during the past 30 years was conducted by integrating field survey work with remote sensing techniques. The results indicated that intensified agricultural development had transformed a unique natural marsh landscape into an agricultural landscape during the past 30 years. Ninety percent of the natural marsh wetlands have been lost, and the areas of the other natural landscapes have decreased very rapidly. Most dry farmland had been replaced by paddy fields during the progressive change of the natural landscape to a farm landscape. Attempts of current Chinese institutions in preserving natural wetlands have achieved limited success. Few marsh wetlands have remained healthy, even after the establishment of the nature reserve. Their ecological qualities have been declining in response to the increasing threats to the remaining wetland habitats. Irrigation projects play a key role in such threats. Therefore, the sustainability of the natural wetland ecosystems is being threatened by increased regional agricultural development which reduced the number of wetland ecotypes and damaged the ecological quality.