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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 209547, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/209547
Research Article

Changes in Stream Peak Flow and Regulation in Naoli River Watershed as a Result of Wetland Loss

1College of Wildlife Resource, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
2Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS, Changchun, Jilin 130012, China
3College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Heilongjiang Institute of Science and Technology, Harbin 150027, China

Received 10 February 2014; Revised 1 June 2014; Accepted 2 June 2014; Published 7 July 2014

Academic Editor: Ioannis Konstantinou

Copyright © 2014 Yunlong Yao et al. 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.

Abstract

Hydrology helps determine the character of wetlands; wetlands, in turn, regulate water flow, which influences regional hydrology. To understand these dynamics, we studied the Naoli basin where, from 1954 to 2005, intensive marshland cultivation took place, and the watershed’s wetland area declined from  ha to  ha. More than 80% of the wetland area loss was due to conversion to farmland, especially from 1976 to 1986. The processes of transforming wetlands to cultivated land in the whole Naoli basin and subbasins can be described using a first order exponential decay model. To quantify the effects of wetlands cultivation, we analyzed daily rainfall and streamflow data measured from 1955 to 2005 at two stations (Baoqing Station and Caizuizi Station). We defined a streamflow regulation index (SRI) and applied a Mann-Kendall-Sneyers test to further analyze the data. As the wetland area decreased, the peak streamflow at the Caizuizi station increased, and less precipitation generated heavier peak flows, as the runoff was faster than before. The SRI from 1959 to 2005 showed an increasing trend; the SRI rate of increase was 0.05/10a, demonstrating that the watershed’s regulation of streamflow regulation was declined as the wetlands disappeared.