Conservation of temporary wetlands

By: , and 

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Abstract

Temporary wetlands are characterized by frequent drying resulting in a unique, highly specialized assemblage of often rare or specialized plant and animal species. They are found on all continents and in a variety of landscape settings. Although accurate estimates of the abundance of temporary wetlands are available in only a few countries, global estimations identify a decline in number and quality. The key environmental factors driving the structure of ecological communities in temporary wetlands are the duration, timing, frequency and predictability of the aquatic and dry phases, which varies greatly with region and hydrogeomorphic setting. Temporary wetlands have been historically neglected, but improved social awareness of the functions and values of, and increases in scientific interest, suggest that this is changing. They play an ecological role in both global cycles (i.e., CO2 emissions) and biodiversity (in proportion to their size, they contribute disproportionately to regional and global biodiversity). Moreover, they provide valuable ecosystem services including wildlife habitat, nutrient flux to adjacent ecosystems, flood control, water filtration, and cultural services. Effective conservation of temporary wetlands requires addressing threats (i.e., inconsistent and inadequate regulatory protections; climate change; changes in land use) and management challenges (i.e., management at both local and landscape scales; incomplete understanding of the ecosystem services provided by them; the need to enhance inventories). The most suitable approaches for conserving temporary wetlands include (1) regulations or other forms of protection; (2) sustainable management; (3) restoration and creation; and (4) collaborative conservation.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Conservation of temporary wetlands
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.12003-2
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences