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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Republic of Korea


  General Description   Site characteristics
Located at Long. 125°25’ east and Lat. 34°41’ north, SDBR is a group of islands along the southwestern rias coast of the Korean Peninsula. Its geographical location indicates that the area has rich biodiversity. The total area consists of about five hundreds islands, with more than 1,000 km coastline. A large tidal flat, an important habitat for marine lives and rare migratory birds, functions as workplace for local people, including traditional forms of fishing and salt production.
The core area belongs to 11 inhabited islands, including Heuksando Island and Hongdo Island, and 89 uninhabited islands with total coastline of 274.38 km. Including the tidal flat, the total size of the terrestrial area is 46.42 km2. The highest point is at Mt. Gitdaebong Peak (377.6m) of Heuksando Island. Also, there are various rocks with fantastic shapes along the shoreline, formed by tidal erosion. A buffer zone is composed of marine and land areas, including the part of Dadohae National Park of Bigeumdo Island and Dochodo Island. Within the buffer zone, there are 7 inhabited and 126 uninhabited islands, and a total coastline of 292.14km, and land size of 102.27km2.
Transition area is composed of residential and marine area. Total of 215 islands are included and their total length of coast line stretches 441.79km, while the area size extends to 486.68km2. The highest point within the transition area is Seosan Mt (255m) of Bigeumdo Island.

37,747 people permanently reside in the SDBR. There are no residents in the core area, 7,201 in the buffer zone, and 30,546 in the transition area.

Area Management
SDBR area consists of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The Dadohae National Park and four Natural Monuments are spread throughout Shinan County. However, they all fall under the administrative jurisdiction of Jeollanamdo Province.
Different existing zonation:
Forest reserves, rare and useful plant habitats, natural monuments, Dadohae National Park, and tidal flats with rich ecological diversity represent various inhabitants, ecosystems, and characteristics of the rias coast, existing as “Patch Mosaics” within the core area. The ecological diversity and complexity of the area also help local people’s daily lives.Eastern parts of Bigeumdo Island and Dochodo Island, part of tidal flat, have higher reservation value than other areas, because of the beautiful landscape and high biodiversity. The buffer zone can be conserved by laws such as the Natural Protection Act and Special Law on Ecosystem Preservation of Islands (May 24, 1999). The area of the tidal flat, in particular, is an interactive region between human beings and nature, where sustainable development can help minimize possible conflicts among local people and enable transfer the indigenous knowledge to future generations.
Most local people in the transition area are engaged in agriculture, fishery, and the tourism industry. The transition area of SDBR is governed by the Coastal Management Act and the Fishing Village and Port Act and. Sustainable development is highly encouraged in this area.
  Major ecosystem type   SDBR has a complicated marine and terrestrial ecosystem landscape. Various vegetation indicating the northern limitation of warm-temperate broadleaf forests is found in the core area of Hongdo Island and Heuksando Island, part of Dadohae National Park. Small spaces from erosions in rocks and cliffs, function as major habitat for birds. The huge tidal flats along the coastal areas of Bigeumdo Island, Dochodo Island, and Jeungdo Island form an important ecosystem with high biodiversity. Coastal area and islands are generally surrounded by well developed inter-tidal zones, and marine products are gathered in traditional ways by local residents.
  Major habitats & land cover types   1) Temperate evergreen broadleaf forest zone
The dominant species in the zone are Castanopsis cuspidata, silver magnolia, and camellia trees. There are herbaceous plants such as Trachelospermum asiaticum var. intermedium, Ardisia japonica, Hedera rhombea, Saeri tree, Kalopanax pictus, Ophiopogon japonicas, Lemmaphyllum microphyllum, and Hepatica asiatica, Castanopsis cuspidate, and silver magnolia.
2) Dune Vegetation
Dune vegetation includes Ischaemum anthephoroides, Zoysia macrostachya, Vitex rotundifolia, Calystegia soldanella, Messerschmidia sibirica, and a colony of Carex kobomugi on Jeungdo Island. Several unusual species, including Phragmites communis, Vitex rotundifolia, Carex kobomugi, Messerschmidia sibirica, Plantago major for. yezomaritima, and Glehnia littoralis are distributed throughout the dunes.
3) Evergreen coniferous forest zone on uninhabited islands
A colony of Japanese black pine trees dominates the seashores and hillsides. On some uninhabited islands, there are remnant patches of temperate evergreen coniferous trees and Japanese black pine trees. There are also insects, such as Graphium sarpedon and Papilio protenor, living in a colony of temperate evergreen coniferous trees and costal dunes.
4) Tidal flat
The inter-tidal areas are divided into two regions; estuaries and lagoons. Reed and Phragmitis communities are dominant in wetland areas. In the coastal area, various salt-marsh plants, such as halophyte communities, are developing. There are many biological organisms in the inter-tidal zone, showing high productivity. The surface of the tidal flat is an important habitat for diatoms and plankton. At low tide, diatoms are an important food for benthic invertebrates. Due to the complexity of ecological circulation and the food chain, many shells and invertebrate such as Octopus, Gobiinae and mollusca (Meretrix lusoria) are found here.
  Location   - Central Points of the Biosphere Reserve
Jeungdo Island Area: Long. 126° 09´ 49.90? E, Lat. 35° 57´ 15.00? N
Hongdo Island Area: Long. 125° 11´ 40.82? E, Lat. 34° 41´ 18.75? N
Heuksando Island Area: Long. 125° 30´ 09.84? E, Lat. 34° 40´ 09.00? N
Bigeumdo Island & Dochodo Island Area: Long. 125° 55´ 41.31? E, Lat. 34° 41´ 38.92? N

- Outer boundary of the buffer zone
East: Long. 126° 23' 00? E. Lat. 34° 52' 30? N.
West: Long. 125° 05' 00? E. Lat. 34° 06' 45? N.
South: Long. 125° 05' 30? E, Lat. 34° 04' 15? N.
North: Long. 125° 54' 30? E, Lat. 35° 12' 30? N.
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   75,749
  Core area(s)   Size of terrestrial Core Area: 1,435 ha Size of tidal flat Core Area: 1,437 ha Size of marine Core Area: 568 ha
  Buffer zone(s)   Size of terrestrial Buffer Zone: 2,403 ha Size of tidal flat Buffer Zone: 2,242 ha Size of marine Buffer Zone: 21,393 ha
  Transition area(s) when given   Approx. size of terrestrial Transition Area: 12,416 ha Approx. size of marine Transition Area: 33,856 ha
  Altitude (metres above sea level)  
  Year designated   2009
  Administrative authorities   Jeollanamdo Province, Shinan County
  Brief description   The Eco-Horizon Institute is currently conducting research on the geology and geomorphology of the tidal flats in SDBR. The Institute of Island Culture (IIC) of Mokpo National University is monitoring the cultural-historical resources and landscape ecosystem, and the Institute of Tidal of the same university is investigating the biota of benthic invertebrate in SDBR. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has sponsored the project to understand the socio-economic situation of Hongdo Island and bring up a sustainable development model.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, climate, geology, geomorphology, geophysics, global change, habitat, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, nutrients, siltation/sedimentation, topography.
  Biodiversity   Algae, autoecology/synecology, beach/soft bottom, benthos, biodiversity, biogeography, biology, birds, breeding/reproduction, coastal/marine, community studies/communities, conservation, dune systems, ecology, ecosystem assessment, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, ecotone, endemic species, ethology, evolutionary studies/palaeoecology/evolution, fauna, fishes, flora, forest systems, genetic resources, invertebrates/insects/spiders, island systems/islands, microorganisms, migrating populations/migration, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, natural medicinal products, natural resources, phenology, phytosociology/succession, plankton, plants, pollination, population genetics/population dynamics, productivity, rare/endangered/threatened species, species inventorying/inventory, taxonomy, temperate forest, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, anthropological studies/anthropology, archaeology/paleontology, capacity building, cultural aspects, demography, economically important species, fishery/fisheries, human health, human migration/population exodus, indigenous people, industry, local participation, modelling, monitoring methodologies, pastoralism/pastoralists/grazing, people-nature relations/man/nature, poverty, quality economies, recreation, resource use, role of women/gender, sacred sites, small business initiatives, social/socio-economic aspects, stakeholders' interests, tourism, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge, transport.
  Integrated monitoring   Biogeochemistry, carrying capacity/sustainability, conflict, ecosystem approach, education and public awareness, environmental change, geographic information system/gis, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, institutional and legal aspects, integrated studies/interdisciplinaty, interdisciplinary studies, land tenure, land use/land cover, landscape inventorying/monitoring, management issues, mapping, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation, policy issues, remote sensing, rural systems, sustainable development/sustainable use.

Last updated: 04/11/2009

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