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Mediterranean wetland conservation in the context of climate and land cover change

Abstract : Wetlands are known to support diverse and unique species assemblages. Globally, but particularly in the Mediterranean basin, they are threatened by climate change and natural habitat loss. Despite an alarming decline of wetlands over the last century, standardised and systematic site assessments at large scale do not exist. Here, we perform an integrated assessment of Mediterranean wetlands by evaluating the combination of wetland protection and anthropogenic pressures, namely climate and land cover change, and the subsequent impact on wintering waterbirds. We used a multivariate partial triadic analysis to quantify climate and land cover change for each site between 1990 and 2005. We found that wetland sites in the southeast of the Mediterranean basin combined low or no protection cover with the highest increases in temperature and losses in natural habitats. Despite these findings, these sites also lack observation data on biodiversity, which may underestimate the resulting impacts. However, there are examples where active conservation measurements contributed positively to slow down wetlands' reduction. Biodiversity data coverage needs to be ensured, regularly updated, and extended across sites regardless of their protection level, to allow for the assessment of biodiversity trends. This should be further extended to include current investments in remote sensing approaches.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03085215
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Submitted on : Monday, December 21, 2020 - 4:11:02 PM
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Roxanne Leberger, Ilse Geijzendorffer, Elie Gaget, Anis Gwelmami, Thomas Galewski, et al.. Mediterranean wetland conservation in the context of climate and land cover change. Regional Environmental Change, Springer Verlag, 2020, 20 (2), ⟨10.1007/s10113-020-01655-0⟩. ⟨hal-03085215⟩

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