Literature Review on Wetlands and Climate Change

Topics: Wetland, Water, Climate change Pages: 13 (3720 words) Published: August 3, 2011
SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITIY, FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT.

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AUSTRALIAN WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS

Assessment 1: BIO01204
Aisling Hall 21620531 3/29/2010

1 Aisling Hall 21620531 BIO01204

Table of Contents
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AUSTRALIAN WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS ........................................... 3 Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 3 IMPORTANCE OF WETLANDS .......................................................................................................... 4 CLIMATE CHANGE ........................................................................................................................... 6 MANAGEMENT................................................................................................................................ 7 CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................................... 8 References .............................................................................................................................................. 9

2 Aisling Hall 21620531 BIO01204

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AUSTRALIAN WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS
Abstract
There is little argument that our climate is changing seen in the increase of temperatures, decrease in snow cover, sea level rises and changes in precipitation intensity and distribution. Wetland ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to these changes as they rely on water flow and ground water for their functionality. In return wetlands filter water and support a high diversity and abundance of life often endemic and critical to the success of phases of certain plant and animals life cycles. Due to the diversity of wetlands their management and protection has been slow and often unsuccessful. Scientific research has raised awareness of their importance in mitigation of climate change through acting as carbon sinks and habitat for significant species, so through education and stronger state and national water management plans wetlands have the chance to continue playing a vital role in our environment. (N.Campbell 2009). Many of Australia’s Wetlands hold strong cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal people as they are a diverse resource that may have been used for many generations and may support certain ‘totemic’ plants and animals endemic to that small ecosystem (Department of Environment 2008). Climate Change will affect wetlands natural structure, functions and distribution through temperature rises, changes in distribution, intensity and frequency of rain, sea level rise and stronger anthropogenic pressure as our world warms (T. Walshe 2008). Since the 1950s mean temperatures in Australia have increased 0.1-0.2°C per decade with the greatest warming inland and stronger storm and floods along the coasts (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007).

Introduction
Wetlands are an important part of Australia’s natural environment. They contain a wide diversity of life providing habit and supporting plants and animals that may be found nowhere else. Australia has more than 900 nationally important wetlands in coastal and inland locations, 65 of those are currently listed as Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance (Department of the Environment 2009). Wetlands are highly specialised ecosystems with functions that aid in nutrient cycling, act as carbon stores and improve water quality by filtering the passing water. Coastal wetlands create a barrier effect which protects surrounding environments from flooding, pollution and erosion. Both coastal and inland wetlands sustain a high abundance of plant and animal life delivering rich habitat for...

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Arthur Rylah Institute (2010) Climate Change and Salinity Department of Sustainability and Environment, http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenari.nsf/LinkView/8A400EA7628CE672CA256DD300130337964 8BCFAC8675B00CA256DD300024CC6, accessed: 23/03/10.
Australian Government Department of the Environment, W., Heritage and the Arts, (2010). Wetlands Australia: NATIONAL WETLANDS UPDATE Retrieved 25/03/10. from http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/pubs/wa18.pdf.
C.Akumu, S. P., D.Bucher, S.Baban, (2009). MODELLING THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF SEA LEVEL RISE ON COASTAL WETLANDS IN NORTH-EASTERN NSW AUSTRALIA. Lismore: Southern Cross University.
D.A.Roshier, P. H. W., R.J.Allan, A.I.Robertson, (2001) Distribution and persistence of temporary wetland habitats in arid Australia in relation to climate, Austral Ecology, 26: 371-394.
D.Lindenmayer, S. D., M.Harriss Olson, S.Morton, (2008) Ten Commitments, Pub: CSIRO, collingwood, Vic.
D.Nielsen, M. B. (2009) Modified water regime and salinity as a consequence of climate change: prospects for wetlands of Southern Australia, Climate Change, 95: 523-533.
D.Whigham, C. C., B.Palmer, (1988) Impacts of Freshwater Wetlands A Landscape Perspective on Water Quality, Environmental Management, 12(5): 663-671.
David Lindenmayer, S. D., Molly Harriss Olson, Steve Morton, (2008) Ten Commitments, Pub: CSIRO, collingwood, Vic.
Department of the Environment, W., Heritage and the Arts, (2009) Wetlands 2010, http://www.environment.gov.au/water/topics/wetlands/index.html, accessed: 20/03/10.
H.Hemond, J. B. (1988) Cumulative Impacts of Wetlands on Water Quality Functions, Environmental Management, 12(5): 639-653.
I.Eliot, C. F., P.Waterman (1999) Predicted climate change, sea-level rise and wetland management in the Australian wet-dry tropics, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 7: 63-81.
L.Hughes (2003) Climate change and Australia: Trends, projections and impacts, Austral Ecology, 28: 423-443.
N.Campbell, J. R., M.Taylor, E.Simon, J.Dicky, (2009) Biology:Concepts and Connections (6 ed.), Pub: Benjamin Cummings, San Fransisco.
S.Bunn, A. A. (2002) Basic Principles and Ecological Consequences of Altered Flow Regimes for Aquatic Biodiversity, Environmental Management, 30(4).
SSIU (2009) Model Predicts Climate Change Impacts of Harbour Sydney University, http://www.usyd.edu.au/research/about/nrp_examples/model_predicts.shtml, accessed: 25/03/10.
T. Walshe, T. M. (2008) Decision-making under climatic uncertainty: A case study involving an Australian Ramsar-listed wetland, Ecological management and restoration, 9(3): 202-208.
T.Smith, R. L. S. (2009) Elements of Ecology (7 ed.), Pub: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Fransisco.
W.Mitsch, J. G. (2007) Wetlands (4 ed.), Pub: John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey.
Wetlands, R. C. o. (2010) About the Ramsar Convention, http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-about-aboutramsar/main/ramsar/1-36%5E7687_4000_0__, accessed: 27/03/10.
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