Landscape and climate change threats to wetlands of North and Central America

William J Mitsch, Maria E Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Issue Title: Effects of Climate Change on Wetlands North and Central America has a combined total of 2.5 million km^sup 2^ of wetlands, with 51 % in Canada, 46 % in the USA, and the remainder in subtropical and tropical Mexico and Central America. Loss rates are well known for the conterminous USA and for parts of Canada but poorly understood for Mexico and Central America. Wetlands of North America continue to be threatened due to drainage for agriculture and urban development, extreme coastal and river management, water pollution from upstream watersheds, peat mining, waterfowl management, and more recently climate change. Human use of wetlands in this region are many, including receiving ecosystem services such as water purification, flood regulation, climate regulation, and direct provisioning benefits for many cultures living in and among wetlands, especially in the Louisiana Delta and in Mexico and Central America. Climate change affects will cause wetland impacts on coastal wetlands due to sea level rise and on inland wetlands due to changes in precipitation, air temperature, and river discharges. Wetlands, in turn, have a major role in the storage of carbon in boreal regions of Canada and with carbon sequestration in temperate and tropical wetlands of the Americas.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalAquatic Sciences
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Central America
  • Climate change
  • Earth Sciences--Oceanography
  • Landscape ecology
  • North America
  • Urban development
  • Wetlands

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