Browsing All Posts filed under »ecosystem services«

Springs – neglected ecosystems

March 26, 2022

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Springs can be defined as places on the Earth’s surface that are influenced by the exposure, and often the flow, of groundwater.  They support biodiverse ecosystems and have socioeconomic value as sources of water for drinking, agriculture, industry and recreation, , but they are often  highly vulnerable to human disturbance, such as groundwater depletion,  pollution, […]

Key wetland species deliver most ecosystem services

September 28, 2021

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There’s a lot of evidence that in ecosystems such as grasslands and forests, biodiversity is positively related to productivity and to the efficiency of nutrient recycling and decomposition.   On this basis it can be argued that the loss of biodiversity is likely to damage the delivery of ecosystem services.  However, in the case of wetlands, […]

Aquatic ecosystem services: impacts of land use

March 13, 2021

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Streams and riparian zones are seldom given priority in protected-area planning, and little is known about the effects of protection on the many ecosystem services that streams provide.  To help fill this knowledge gap, researchers studied differences in biodiversity and the ecosystem services provided by 28 streams in protected and unprotected watersheds in Quebec, Canada.  […]

Aquatic ecosystem services: rethinking streamside planting

March 13, 2021

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Spatial patterns in the loss of natural land cover to agriculture have a significant effect on ecosystem services, including those provided by landscape features that interrupt runoff flows to rivers.  For example, the number, size and location of woodland patches all have an impact on ecosystem services such as sediment trapping, pollutant retention and the […]

Biodiversity offsets: compliance doesn’t guarantee ecosystem function

March 13, 2021

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When human activities impair habitats and reduce biodiversity, environmental offsets, such as the creation of new wetlands and the planting of native vegetation, can help to preserve ecosystem function and services.  However, the success of offsetting projects depends on the extent to which the required measures are complied with, and compliance is often poor.  This […]

Crustaceans control the flow of groundwater

December 16, 2020

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Aquifers are an essential source of water for human needs and groundwater is the world’s most extracted raw material.   The capacity of aquifers to store and transport water critically depends on their hydraulic properties, which also have a strong influence on communities of underground lifeforms, including microbes, micro- and macro-invertebrates and fish.  Evidence is now […]

Why it’s important to protect water at its source

September 26, 2020

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In the present age, when human activity has an increasingly dominant influence on the environment, water security has become a pressing issue, and growing  efforts and funds are spent on maintaining water quality and reliable flows.  While most approaches to water security focus on the provision of conventional infrastructure such as dams and treatment systems, […]

Using large wood in river restoration

June 25, 2020

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Fallen trees are important features of river ecosystems.  They influence river morphology, create varied patterns of flow and provide habitats for in-stream organisms.  For these reasons, large wood is increasingly added to stream channels as a restoration and management measure.  Large wood (defined as woody material over 1 m in length and 10 cm in […]

Indigenous knowledge and sustainable management

December 17, 2019

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Although natural resource management often involves the integration of indigenous knowledge with science-based information and practice, the complexity of indigenous knowledge isn’t always recognised. A recent paper co-authored by Australian academics, traditional landowners and indigenous rangers describes how different dimensions of indigenous knowledge relate to wetland management. The authors interviewed members of two Aboriginal groups […]

Letting the rivers run again

June 28, 2019

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Rivers are commonly dammed to store water, mitigate flooding or produce power.  However, dams can severely disrupt natural flow regimes, and as a result threaten habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem services.   Many dams are old or obsolete, and the benefits of removing them before they fail may outweigh the costs.   The largest dam removal project in […]