IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 145: Assessing the Ecological Effects of Water Transport to a Lake in Arid Regions: A Case Study of Qingtu Lake in Shiyang River Basin, Northwest China (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
With the continuous growth of economic water consumption in arid regions, many endorheic rivers and terminal lakes have desiccated. As an important ecological engineering measure, water transport in arid regions has vital ecological significance for protecting the regional ecological environment and delaying desertification. In this study, Qingtu Lake, the terminal lake of Shiyang River, was selected to analyze the ecological effects of water transport by means of remote sensing interpretations and current year field investigations. The results demonstrated that, in July 2018, the water surface had formed and recovered to 5.68 km2. Additionally, Qingtu Lake formed a spatial gradient distribution in groundwater depth. The depth increased in gradient from the waterside to the desert edge. There was a significant increase in the overall regional vegetation coverage, which mainly occurred in the water areas because of the extensive growth in Phragmites australis, which reached 10.54 km2 in area in 2018. Furthermore, the regional vegetation formed a gradient distribution, which transitioned from hygrophytes to xerophytes. This study can provide guidelines for the protection and restoration of lakes in arid regions.