Deliverable 1.2 - Drivers and thresholds of change for European wetlands
Healthy wetlands provide essential ecosystem services to society including the regulation of carbon, water and natural hazards, the provisioning of food and drinking water, and by acting as spaces for cultural heritage and recreation.
When wetlands are damaged, they do not function correctly, and these valuable ecosystem services are reduced or lost.
D1.2 was developed by the University of Leeds as part of WaterLANDS WP1 – Restoring Services and aims to assess the drivers of change in wetland functioning.
D1.2 is composed of 1. a meta-analysis of the literature on the drivers of wetland function, and 2. an expert survey to supplement the literature.
D1.2 aims to:
- improve understanding of the physical and chemical drivers of wetland functioning,
- determine how key drivers influence wetland functioning,
- discuss how wetland restoration is expected to influence driver effects and enhance wetland ecosystem services.
The meta-analysis focused on five WaterLANDS wetland types: fens, bogs, swamps, coastal marsh, and inland marsh. A total of 3444 papers/reports with 2543 site-year paired records were derived from 5007 Web of Science search results.
Anthropogenic drivers of change identified include pollution, drainage, and burning, which can be measured using proxies such as sulphur addition, water-table depth, and vegetation condition.
Anthropogenic drivers can affect ecosystem function, which can be tracked using indicators such as carbon dioxide flux and species diversity. This in turn can impact the regulating, provisioning, supporting and cultural ecosystem services provided.
Drivers that impact water levels are critical as water level and water-table depth were found to be key controls on gas fluxes, nutrient cycling, aspects of biodiversity and, in some wetland types, the downstream flood reduction function.
Read this Deliverable in full if you are:
- a restoration practitioner who would like to understand more about drivers of change in wetlands, their linked ecosystem services and how they might be affected by restoration.
- a researcher in ecology, environmental science or ecosystem services who is interested in a meta-analysis of literature on wetland thresholds and drivers of change in Europe.