Water Science and Engineering 2020, 13(1) 57-64 DOI:   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2020.04.001  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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Ecotope map
Intertidal mudflats
Migratory shorebirds
Tongzhou Bay
Jiangsu coast

Ecological impact of land reclamation on Jiangsu coast (China): A novel ecotope assessment for Tongzhou Bay

Jos R. M. Muller a,b,*, Yong-ping Chen c, Stefan G. J. Aarninkhof a, Ying-chi Chan d,e, Theunis Piersma d,e, Dirk S. van Maren a,f, Jian-feng Tao c, Zheng Bing Wang a,f, Zheng Gong c

a Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2600 GA, The Netherlands
b Baggermaatschappij Boskalis BV, Papendrecht 3350 AE, The Netherlands
c College of Harbor, Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
d Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, Groningen 9700 CC, The Netherlands
e Department of Coastal Systems, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Den Burg 1790 AB, The Netherlands
f Unit of Coastal and Marine Systems, Deltares, Delft 2600 MH, The Netherlands


China’s continuous and rapid economic growth has led to the reclamation of large sections of the intertidal mud coast in combination with port construction, such as that of the proposed Tongzhou Bay port on the Jiangsu coast. These reclamations threaten the local ecosystem services. An ecotope distribution map was created and a hydrodynamic numerical model of Tongzhou Bay was set up to quantify the impacts of reclamation on the ecosystem. Based on the field data and model results, several abiotic features were classified into 11 ecotopes and visualized in an ecotope map of the Tongzhou Bay ecosystem. Validation with spatial distributions of two threatened shorebird species (bar-tailed godwit and great knot) showed confirmation with the mid-range and low-range littoral zones (inundated from 40% to 100% of a tidal cycle), indicating the importance of the areas with these conditions to these populations. Overlaying the ecotope map with recent and proposed land reclamation schemes revealed a loss of ecotopes, composed of the high-range (42%), mid-range (48%), and low-range (38%) littoral habitats, corresponding to a 44%–45% loss of the most important ecotopes for bar-tailed godwit and great knot (mid-range and low-range littoral zones). These results confirm the applicability of the novel ecotope assessment approach in practice.

Keywords  Mapping   Ecotope   Ecotope map   Intertidal mudflats   Migratory shorebirds   Reclamation   Tongzhou Bay   Jiangsu coast  
Received 2019-08-01 Revised 2019-11-27 Online: 2020-03-30 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2020.04.001

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0405401).

Corresponding Authors: Jos R. M. Muller
Email: jrmmuller@boskalis.com
About author:


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