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Freshwater Ecology and ConservationApproaches and Techniques$
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Jocelyne Hughes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766384

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198766384.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

Changes Over Time

Changes Over Time

(p.283) 13 Changes Over Time
Freshwater Ecology and Conservation

Peter A. Gell

Marie-Elodie Perga

C. Max Finlayson

Oxford University Press

Freshwater systems are continuously shaped by cyclical and directional forces of change, whether they be natural or anthropogenic. Beyond gradual transitions disturbances can reset their internal dynamics generating an abrupt ecological shift. Long-term data sets of gradual or abrupt change can be accessed by exhuming the physical, chemical, and biological remains archived in the sediment layers within lakes and wetlands. Long-term monitoring programmes offer more detailed evidence, usually over shorter time frames. In combination these records attest to the response of wetlands to climate and the impact of industrialised people. Humans have modified lake ecosystems for millennia and the condition of many wetland ecosystems have changed such that they are now regarded as novel. Long-term records provide targets for wetland restoration and can identify the main drivers of degradation. Identification of the character of modern Ramsar wetlands may be enhanced by reference to records of past state.

Keywords:   Ramsar, climate variability, palaeo-records, fossils, sediment, restoration, regime shift, novel ecosystems, Anthropocene, long-term data

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