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Top ten priorities for global saltmarsh restoration, conservation and ecosystem service research

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-24, 05:40 authored by J Pétillon, E McKinley, M Alexander, JB Adams, C Angelini, T Balke, JN Griffin, T Bouma, S Hacker, Q He, MJS Hensel, C Ibáñez, Peter Macreadie, S Martino, E Sharps, R Ballinger, D de Battisti, N Beaumont, D Burdon, P Daleo, A D'Alpaos, M Duggan-Edwards, A Garbutt, S Jenkins, CJT Ladd, H Lewis, G Mariotti, O McDermott, R Mills, I Möller, S Nolte, JF Pagès, B Silliman, L Zhang, MW Skov
Coastal saltmarshes provide globally important ecosystem services including ‘blue carbon’ sequestration, flood protection, pollutant remediation, habitat provision and cultural value. Large portions of marshes have been lost or fragmented as a result of land reclamation, embankment construction, and pollution. Sea level rise threatens marsh survival by blocking landward migration where coastlines have been developed. Research-informed saltmarsh conservation and restoration efforts are helping to prevent further loss, yet significant knowledge gaps remain. Using a mixed methods approach, this paper identifies ten research priorities through an online questionnaire and a residential workshop attended by an international, multi-disciplinary network of 35 saltmarsh experts spanning natural, physical and social sciences across research, policy, and practitioner sectors. Priorities have been grouped under four thematic areas of research: Saltmarsh Area Extent, Change and Restoration Potential (including past, present, global variation), Spatio-social contexts of Ecosystem Service delivery (e.g. influences of environmental context, climate change, and stakeholder groups on service provisioning), Patterns and Processes in saltmarsh functioning (global drivers of saltmarsh ecosystem structure/function) and Management and Policy Needs (how management varies contextually; challenges/opportunities for management). Although not intended to be exhaustive, the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for addressing each research priority examined here, providing a blueprint of the work that needs to be done to protect saltmarshes for future generations.

History

Journal

Science of the Total Environment

Volume

898

Article number

165544

Pagination

165544-165544

Location

Netherlands

ISSN

0048-9697

eISSN

1879-1026

Language

en

Publisher

Elsevier BV