Drivers of wetland disturbance and biodiversity impacts on a tropical oceanic island

Laurance, Susan, Baider, Claudia, Florens, F. B. Vincent, Ramrekha, Shyamduth, Sevathian, Jean-Claude, and Hammond, David S. (2012) Drivers of wetland disturbance and biodiversity impacts on a tropical oceanic island. Biological Conservation, 149 (1). pp. 136-142.

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Abstract

Wetlands are biologically important elements of landscapes and among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. On the island of Mauritius, many remaining wetlands are being rapidly converted and fragmented by intense land-use demands. We surveyed 209 coastal wetlands on Mauritius to assess their biophysical attributes, land-use activities, and patterns of disturbance, to help identify factors that threaten wetland biodiversity. Most wetlands exhibited severe edge-related disturbances and more than half were fragmented. Plant species richness was highest in larger, unfragmented wetlands and lower in wetlands with degraded margins. Urban wetlands were smaller and more likely to be fragmented than those adjoining other land uses such as grazing and agriculture. Flooding of urban homes and infrastructure was more likely to occur near fragmented than natural wetlands. Ongoing wetland decline in Mauritius not only contributes to the loss of local biodiversity but reduces the larger ecosystem role these habitats play in regulating surface water and protecting adjacent marine habitats. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item ID: 23035
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: edge effects, filling, flooding, land use, urbanization, wetland biodiversity, wetland conversion, wetland fragmentation
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2012 05:27
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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