Geoinformation in Environmental Planning

SuMaRiO - Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River - China

Project Information

TitleSuMaRiO - Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River - China
Subproject: Ecosystem analysis of Tugai forests with multi-temporal RapidEye satellite imagery
FundingFederal Ministry of Education and Research (FK: 01LL0918G)
PartnersProf. Dr. Alishir Kurban
Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG)
Chinese Academy of sciences (CAS)

Participation of 10 german and 8 chinese project partners (
Duration01.03.2011 - 29.02.2016
Research AssociateM.Sc. Philipp Gärtner
Project LeadProf. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit


During the past five decades, intensive exploitation of water resources, mainly by agricultural water consumption, has resulted in changes of the temporal and spatial distribution of water resources and has caused serious environmental problems in the Tarim River Basin. The ecosystems and the ecological processes dominated by natural vegetation are seriously impacted by water diversion for irrigation purposes. The SuMaRiO project (Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River in China) aims at sustainable land management practices that explicitly take into account ecosystem services (ESS) and ecosystem functions (ESF). For sustainable land use along the river oases of the Tarim, the mutual relations between the ESS and the ESF in the upper reaches (e.g. production function) and in the lower reaches (e.g. habitat or regulatory function) must be known. In order to assess the effects of the conducted government's restoration campaign as well as the impact of climate change on floodplain forests the local stakeholders requiere a solid monitoring plan.

The proposed project will develop a remote sensing based change detection method for long-term monitoring of floodplain forests along the Tarim. Based on multitemporal RapidEye data we try to determine the optimum period for vegetation type and degradation recognition. For this purpose we will build a spectral library of different phenological and degradation stages. Ideally will the library information be transferable to other imagery recording dates and neighboring forest areas. During the phenological year the spectral signatures of important indicator species (Populus Euphratica, Tamarix ......,) will be compared to the actual field conditions. It is assumed that a high class depth and class accuracy can be achieved.
In addition will structural indices (leaf area index, plant coverage, avg. habitat size, number of habitats, habitat networks) be developed that are appropriate for the diagnosis of forest conditions and support the long-term monitoring of floodplain vegetation and the assessment of the ESS / ESF. The method described allows upscaling from the local to regional scale (1:25.000) and thus creates an efficient use of remote sensing data and a basis for the monitoring plan.