Human Impact on Coastal Sand Dune Ecosystems in Korea
Coastal sand dune areas, which serve as an ecotone, constitute an important ecosystem located between coastal and terrestrial areas. Moreover, they represent complicated landscapes featuring geomorphological interactions such as erosion and the accumulation of sand. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the sand dune ecosystem from the standpoint of landscape scale, including the background landscape which affects the origin of the sand dune. The ecological landscape approach has already begun to be used to study complex ecosystems in developed countries, and has even been applied to national land management and biodiversity conservation strategies. To this end, this chapter describes a landscape ecological analysis, conducted in the form of a landscape pattern analysis, and carried out in seven areas of Korea where coastal sand dune ecosystems can be found. Nine landscape components were identified in these areas. Although the areas were composed of various patch types, forest and agricultural land were identified as the main background landscape components. However, as several variables, such as the scale and spatial patterns of study areas, influence the results, caution is needed when using landscape indices. Although landscape analyses through landscape indices are sometimes hard-pressed to explain an ecosystem, the landscape-scale approach to ecosystem assessment remains a useful method of interpreting ecological processes in large range habitats.
This paper is a modification of the article ‘Landscape ecological analysis of coastal sand dune ecosystem in Korea’, which was written in Korean with English abstract and published in the Journal of the Korea Society of Environmental Restoration Technology (2009; 12(3): 21–32).
KeywordsSand Dune Landscape Level Shape Index Patch Type Landscape Index
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2009-361-A00007).
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