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TitleAnthropogenic, direct pressures on coastal wetlands
AuthorNewton, A; Icely, J; Cristina, S; Perillo, G; Turner, R E; Ashan, D; Cragg, S; Luo, Y; Tu, C; Li, Y; Zhang, H; Ramesh, R; Forbes, D L; Solidoro, C; Béjaoui, B; Gao, S; Pastres, R; Kelsey, H; Taillie, D; Nhan, N; Brito, A; de Lima, R; Kuenzer, C
SourceFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2020 p. 1-29, (Open Access)
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200070
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 90.0000 -90.0000
SubjectsNature and Environment; Persons; environmental geology; economic geology; Economics and Industry; sedimentology; coastal environment; wetlands; salt marshes; hydrologic environment; pollution; estuaries; tidal flats; habitats; ecosystems
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; diagrams
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
Released2020 07 07
AbstractCoastal wetlands, such as saltmarshes and mangroves that fringe transitional waters, deliver important ecosystem services that support human development. Coastal wetlands are complex social-ecological systems that occur at all latitudes, from polar regions to the tropics. This overview covers wetlands in five continents. The wetlands are of varying size, catchment size, human population and stages of economic development. Economic sectors and activities in and around the coastal wetlands and their catchments exert multiple, direct pressures. These pressures affect the state of the wetland environment, ecology and valuable ecosystem services. All the coastal wetlands were found to be affected in some ways, irrespective of the conservation status. The main economic sectors were agriculture, animal rearing including aquaculture, fisheries, tourism, urbanization, shipping, industrial development and mining. Specific human activities include land reclamation, damming, draining and water extraction, construction of ponds for aquaculture and salt extraction, construction of ports and marinas, dredging, discharge of effluents from urban and industrial areas and logging, in the case of mangroves, subsistence hunting and oil and gas extraction. The main pressures were loss of wetland habitat, changes in connectivity affecting hydrology and sedimentology, as well as contamination and pollution. These pressures lead to changes in environmental state, such as erosion, subsidence and hypoxia that threaten the sustainability of the wetlands. There are also changes in the state of the ecology, such as loss of saltmarsh plants and seagrasses, and mangrove trees, in tropical wetlands. Changes in the structure and function of the wetland ecosystems affect ecosystem services that are often underestimated. The loss of ecosystem services impacts human welfare as well as the regulation of climate change by coastal wetlands. These cumulative impacts and multi-stressors are further aggravated by indirect pressures, such as sea-level rise.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Coastal wetlands such as saltmarshes and mangroves provide important resources and other contributions (known as ecosystem services) for human development, economies, and safety. They are found at almost all latitudes from polar regions to the tropics. Human economic activities exert severe pressures on coastal wetlands. These pressures, which can negatively affect the wetland environment, ecology, and ecosystem services, include loss of habitat, changes in water and sediment circulation, and pollution. These changes can threaten the sustainability of wetlands, resulting in the loss of ecosystem services. Losing these services will impact human welfare, as well as the regulation of climate change by coastal wetlands. These cumulative impacts on the wetlands will probably be worsened by climate change.