Wetlands are some of the most important ecosystems on Earth. They play a key role in mitigating climate change-related events and filtering polluted water, and provide habitats for a wide range of species. Despite their importance, and numerous regulations that support their conservation, wetlands continue to be destroyed. Recent reports have indicated a progressive decline in ecological character of remaining wetlands. This research reviews and extends the present status of wetland knowledge in Sardinia, the second largest Mediterranean island. For the first time, Sardinian wetlands were comprehensively mapped using satellite images and field validation. Impacts were also assessed. Trends in literature published about Sardinian wetlands since 1900 were then analysed, mainly according to the location(s) and topic(s) studied. In total, 2,501 Sardinian wetland sites were identified. The most common impacts observed in the field were vegetative degradation and water pollution. Of these wetlands, 2,274 have never been the subject of a research paper. Despite recent increases in publication rates, there was a lack of even basic knowledge about many wetlands, especially smaller ones. Larger wetlands have been studied from a range of viewpoints. In the light of these results, suggestions for improved awareness, effective management and conservation of Mediterranean wetlands were established. Future work should be directed to filling gaps in basic information, and to improvements in research and conservation, which might include multidisciplinary approaches in support of more comprehensive conservation management plans.

Knowledge gaps and challenges for conservation of Mediterranean wetlands: Evidence from a comprehensive inventory and literature analysis for Sardinia

Fois M.
Primo
;
Cuena-Lombrana A.
Secondo
;
Bacchetta G.
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Wetlands are some of the most important ecosystems on Earth. They play a key role in mitigating climate change-related events and filtering polluted water, and provide habitats for a wide range of species. Despite their importance, and numerous regulations that support their conservation, wetlands continue to be destroyed. Recent reports have indicated a progressive decline in ecological character of remaining wetlands. This research reviews and extends the present status of wetland knowledge in Sardinia, the second largest Mediterranean island. For the first time, Sardinian wetlands were comprehensively mapped using satellite images and field validation. Impacts were also assessed. Trends in literature published about Sardinian wetlands since 1900 were then analysed, mainly according to the location(s) and topic(s) studied. In total, 2,501 Sardinian wetland sites were identified. The most common impacts observed in the field were vegetative degradation and water pollution. Of these wetlands, 2,274 have never been the subject of a research paper. Despite recent increases in publication rates, there was a lack of even basic knowledge about many wetlands, especially smaller ones. Larger wetlands have been studied from a range of viewpoints. In the light of these results, suggestions for improved awareness, effective management and conservation of Mediterranean wetlands were established. Future work should be directed to filling gaps in basic information, and to improvements in research and conservation, which might include multidisciplinary approaches in support of more comprehensive conservation management plans.
2021
conservation planning and policies; Mediterranean Basin; multidisciplinary approach; systematic map; wetland inventories; wetland research
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/340924
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