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TitleAnthropogenic, direct pressures on coastal wetlands
AuthorNewton, A; Icely, J; Cristina, S; Perillo, G M E; Turner, R E; Ashan, D; Cragg, S; Luo, Y; Tu, C; Li, Y; Zhang, H; Ramesh, R; Forbes, D LORCID logo; Solidoro, C; Béjaoui, B; Gao, S; Pastres, R; Kelsey, H; Taillie, D; Nhan, N; Brito, A C; de Lima, R; Kuenzer, C
SourceFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution vol. 8, 144, 2020 p. 1-29, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200308
PublisherFrontiers Media S.A.
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; pdf; html
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Yukon
NTS107; 117
AreaMackenzie River; Beaufort Sea; Chesapeake Bay; Mississippi Delta; Bahia Blanca; Ria Formosa; Malanza Coastal Lagoon; Venice; Bizerte Lagoon; Ichkeul Lake; Watamu; Vembanad Lake; Sundarbans Mangroves; Yellow River (Huang He) Delta; Yangtze (Changjiang) Delta; Mekong Delta; Gulf of Papua; Canada; United States of America; Argentina; Portugal; Sao Tome and Principe; Kenya; Italy; Tunisia; India; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam; Cambodia; Papua New Guinea; China
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 86.0000 -86.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; hydrogeology; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; Economics and Industry; Society and Culture; Agriculture; fossil fuels; coastal environment; wetlands; ecosystems; ecology; environmental impacts; mining; hydrologic environment; sea level changes; Fisheries; Aquaculture; Tourism; Urban development; Shipping; Industrial development; Ecosystem Services; cumulative effects; Climate change
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; schematic representations
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)
This publication focuses on coastal wetlands, which are areas like salt marshes and mangroves found along the coast. These wetlands provide essential services that help human communities and support the environment. The study covers wetlands in five continents, which vary in size, the number of people living nearby, and their level of economic development.
The researchers looked at how human activities and industries around these wetlands put pressure on them. These pressures include agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, urban development, shipping, and more. Activities like land reclamation, water extraction, and pollution have consequences for these coastal ecosystems. The wetlands are affected by habitat loss, changes in water flow and sediment, contamination, and pollution.
These pressures harm the environment and ecosystems, leading to problems like erosion and the loss of plant life. These changes affect the services these wetlands provide, which are often underestimated. These services include helping regulate climate change and supporting human well-being. The study emphasizes that these wetlands face multiple challenges, and climate change, especially rising sea levels, makes the situation even more difficult.
The scientific impact of this publication is significant because it highlights the global importance of protecting coastal wetlands and the urgent need to address these threats to ensure their survival and the services they provide.

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