Palaeoecology to inform wetland conservation and management: some experiences and prospects

Stewart Clarke, Jasmyn LYNCH

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Wetlands are an important social¿ecological resource, being fundamentally important to many natural processes, human wellbeing and livelihoods. They also contain important stores of information in their sediments which are increasingly being used to improve conservation and environmental management outcomes. We describe how palaeoecology can inform understanding of longer-term processes in wetland environments and examples of where it has contributed directly to site-based conservation decisions for wetlands in the UK. Palaeoecological science is being used in partnerships between some scientists and wetland managers, yet there is scope for broadening its use to support more integrated, inclusive forms of management. We discuss this potential of palaeoecology to inform more holistic approaches to conservation through: landscape-scale conservation; a focus on ecosystem services and natural capital; and the interdisciplinary approach of social¿ecological systems that frames conservation as being for ¿people and nature¿. Realising this potential requires enhanced communication and engagement between scientists and research users about palaeoecological data, their scope for application, and limitations. The need for climate change adaptation, the use of narratives about past environmental changes and future management scenarios, and the need for improved approaches to conservation provide opportunities for bridging the science¿policy¿practitioner gap and advancing wetland conservation and management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)695-706
    Number of pages12
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Volume67
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    wetland conservation
    paleoecology
    wetlands
    wetland
    natural capital
    landscape management
    environmental management
    communication (human)
    livelihood
    ecosystem services
    managers
    interdisciplinary approach
    holistic approach
    climate change
    conservation management
    ecosystem service
    sediments
    environmental change
    communication
    resource

    Cite this

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    Palaeoecology to inform wetland conservation and management: some experiences and prospects. / Clarke, Stewart; LYNCH, Jasmyn.

    In: Marine and Freshwater Research, Vol. 67, 2016, p. 695-706.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Wetlands are an important social¿ecological resource, being fundamentally important to many natural processes, human wellbeing and livelihoods. They also contain important stores of information in their sediments which are increasingly being used to improve conservation and environmental management outcomes. We describe how palaeoecology can inform understanding of longer-term processes in wetland environments and examples of where it has contributed directly to site-based conservation decisions for wetlands in the UK. Palaeoecological science is being used in partnerships between some scientists and wetland managers, yet there is scope for broadening its use to support more integrated, inclusive forms of management. We discuss this potential of palaeoecology to inform more holistic approaches to conservation through: landscape-scale conservation; a focus on ecosystem services and natural capital; and the interdisciplinary approach of social¿ecological systems that frames conservation as being for ¿people and nature¿. Realising this potential requires enhanced communication and engagement between scientists and research users about palaeoecological data, their scope for application, and limitations. The need for climate change adaptation, the use of narratives about past environmental changes and future management scenarios, and the need for improved approaches to conservation provide opportunities for bridging the science¿policy¿practitioner gap and advancing wetland conservation and management.

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