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Ecología Aplicada

versión impresa ISSN 1726-2216


GARCIA, Erick  y  OTTO, Marco. Ecohydrological characterization of high andean wetlands based on multi-temporal remote sensing images in the case of upper Santa River, Ancash, Peru. Ecol. apl. [online]. 2015, vol.14, n.2, pp.115-125. ISSN 1726-2216.

High Andean Wetlands (HAW - also locally known as bofedales) belong to a type of ecosystem that is characterized by perennial vegetation within semi-arid environments of the high Andes. Ground waters originated from rainfall, glaciers and snowmelt are to be thought as the primary water sources for HAW. HAW may also play an important role in basin water provision and regulation. In this study we conducted a multi-temporal analysis based on remote sensing data to determine spatiotemporal patterns bound to ecohydrological characteristics of HAW. Delineation of HAW within the study region was based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). As a result, HAW cover represents 25% of the headwaters region. Spatiotemporal analyses of snow cover derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) indicated that 71% (r² = 0.71) of variance in spatial extent of perennial HAW can be explained by the spatial variance in snow cover from 2000 to 2009. Analyses based on annual data of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) indicated that 68% (r² = 0.68) of the variance in spatial extent of temporal HAW is explained by variance in wet-season rainfall. Our results indicate that HAW spatial extent is highly dependent on precipitation. Different HAW types and sub-types strongly depend on the amount, temporal dynamics and type of precipitation. Our assumptions confirm the findings made elsewhere and are likely to be stated as general for other regions in the semi-arid part of the high Andes. The applied method of mapping HAW indicates that current wetland inventories probably underestimate the actual extend of HAW cover. This information and the assumptions made are of paramount importance for local and regional resource management e.g. in the context of climate change and water resource protection in Andean headwater basins.

Palabras clave : Remote sensing; peatlands; NDVI; NDII; Climate change.

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