Connectivity among Wetlands of EPA of Banhado Grande, RS

ABSTRACT The Environmental Protection Area (EPA) of Banhado Grande, located in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre, comprises three areas of marshes, the Banhado Chico Lomã, the Banhado Grande and Banhado dos Pachecos. In periods of large flood pulses extensive flooded areas are formed between these wetlands and the river Gravataí floodplain, establishing a connectivity between the Wetlands of EPABG. This connectivity indicates that there is an interaction between these wetlands, such as exchange of nutrients, sediments and living organisms. Thus, this study aims to map extensive floodable areas associated with large flood pulses and to analyze the connectivity areas in EPABG. For this, the work is structured in three steps: i) choice of satellite images between the years 2000 to 2015 to identify largest flood pulses; ii) mapping of floodable areas in large flood pulses using images Normalized Difference Index Water (NDWI); and iii) analysis of the connectivity among wetlands. As the results, in large flood pulses, with precipitation greater than 247 mm, in the 30 days prior to the date of the image, establishing a large area of connectivity between the wetlands, forming on the polygon defined by elevation of 11 metres, two types of connectivity: wetlands-wetlands connectivity, allowing interactions among environments with turf and lagoon deposits; and wetlands-stream connectivity, linking the alluvial and floodplain of the Gravataí River deposits with the background lagoon and paludals deposits. Already, in flood pulses of flooding with rainfall less than or equal to 200 mm, in the last 30 days, the flooded area appears fragmented inside the polygon associated at an elevation of 11 metres, mainly in the corridor between the marshes Grande and the Pachecos, that does not connect by flood, forming just wetlands-stream connectivity. Thus, the characterization of the flood pulses and connectivity become fundamental to the understanding of the dynamic of wetlands, because, make aware of for the need to preserve these areas of importance for flood control, microclimate regulation and maintenance of biodiversity.