Wetlands under global change
Wetlands are among the ecosystem types most threatened by global change, including both climate change and other anthropogenic factors such as sea level rise, urban development, deforestation, agricultural land use, drainage, levees, tidal flow restrictions, pollution, eutrophication, and fires. Wetlands not only store disproportionate amounts of carbon compared to other terrestrial ecosystems, but they lie at the terrestrial-aquatic interface crucial to understanding landscape and global scale biogeochemical cycles. In this chapter, we focus on the major global change factors affecting wetlands and the responses of different wetland types to those global change factors. Special attention is given to direct responses to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Because of their hydrological connections and placement at the terrestrial-aquatic interface, the conservation of wetlands involves accounting for uncertainties related to interacting stressors. While the past decades have seen many important experimental and observational studies of wetland responses to global change factors, large uncertainties remain, especially within tropical regions where even the basic extent of wetland ecosystems is not well documented.
|Wetlands under global change
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Wetland and Aquatic Research Center