Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment ›› 2013, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 572-576.doi:

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Delineation of Geographical Boundaries of Settlement Niches in Mountains of the Upper Reaches of the Min River and Analysis of Their Vertical Differentiation

YAN  Wei-Po, WANG  Qing, GUO  Ya-Lin, SHI  Min-Qiu, JIANG  Yong-Jun   

  1. School of Environment and Resource,Southwest University of Science & Techonology
  • Received:2013-02-27 Revised:2013-09-04 Online:2013-09-25 Published:2013-09-30
  • Contact: WANG Qing School of Environment and Resource,Southwest University of Science & Techonology

Abstract: Settlement niches in mountainous areas are the consequence of long-term adaption of local settlers to the natural environment of the mounaintains, covering geographical locations of the human settlements in the mainountainous ecosystem and resources space available to the settlers for sustenance. Based on SPOT-5 remote sensing data and GIS technology, boundaries of the settlement niches were identified and methods for their delineation suggested, and differentiation characteristics of the settlement niches were quantitatively analyzed. Results show that rivers, valleys, mountain foots, image texture and chromatic aberration are factors of indicative significance to delineation of boundaries and keys to demarcation of the settlement niches geographically; the area of a single mountainous settlement niche ranged between 2.27 and 528.67 hm2 and expanded with rising elevation; the expansion rate was quite low when below 1600 m in elevation, was quite low  and became significantly higher once the elevation got over 1600 m.

Key words: niche, geographical boundary, vertical differentiation, mountain settlement, the upper reaches of the Min River

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