Objective The Yellow River Basin has a pivotal role in ecological protection. In order to effectively cope with the ecological problems caused by rapid urban development, this paper constructs an ecological spatial network for the Yellow River Basin to protect biodiversity and mitigate landscape pattern fragmentation.
Method This paper takes the Yellow River Basin as the research object, finding an approach to identify its spatial ecological network. First, the ecological source sites were selected by comprehensively considering land-use data, perimeter of the ecological patch area, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), modified normalized difference water index (MNDWI) and mean patch fractal dimension; then, the minimum cumulative ecological resistance surface was constructed and potential ecological corridors and ecological nodes were extracted by GIS spatial analysis and MCR model algorithm. Finally, the spatial ecological network of the Yellow River Basin consisting of ecological source sites and potential ecological corridors was obtained. The robustness of the proposed network was analyzed.
Result (1) The potential ecological network in the Yellow River Basin consisted of 294 ecological source sites and 369 potential ecological corridors. (2) The main types of land utilization were woodland, grassland and water, which were chiefly distributed in the northeast and southwest part, with some scattered distribution in the southeast part. (3) Ecological corridors were denser in the northeast and southwest part, with complex ecological spatial network structure and longer lengths between small ecological source sites, which played a key role in the ecological environment of the study area. (4) A total of 125 ecological nodes in the network were extracted and tested for recovery and connection robustness using simulated attacks. On the whole, the recovery robustness of ecological space network under random attack was better than that of malicious attack, the connection robustness increased greatly after attacking a certain number of nodes. And then the network structure collapsed.
Conclusion Based on the MCR model, this paper constructs a potential ecological spatial network in the Yellow River Basin and analyzes its topology, which provides an important reference for optimizing the ecological spatial network and provides theoretical guidance for promoting the high-quality development and improving the ecological civilization in the Yellow River Basin of northern China.