Wetlands in a changing climate: Science, policy and management

William R. Moomaw, G. L. Chmura, Gillian T. Davies, C. M. Finlayson, B. A. Middleton, Susan M. Natali, J. E. Perry, N. Roulet, Ariana E. Sutton-Grier

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    180 Citations (Scopus)
    173 Downloads (Pure)


    Part 1 of this review synthesizes recent research on status and climate vulnerability of freshwater and saltwater wetlands, and their contribution to addressing climate change (carbon cycle, adaptation, resilience). Peatlands and vegetated coastal wetlands are among the most carbon rich sinks on the planet sequestering approximately as much carbon as do global forest ecosystems. Estimates of the consequences of rising temperature on current wetland carbon storage and future carbon sequestration potential are summarized. We also demonstrate the need to prevent drying of wetlands and thawing of permafrost by disturbances and rising temperatures to protect wetland carbon stores and climate adaptation/resiliency ecosystem services. Preventing further wetland loss is found to be important in limiting future emissions to meet climate goals, but is seldom considered. In Part 2, the paper explores the policy and management realm from international to national, subnational and local levels to identify strategies and policies reflecting an integrated understanding of both wetland and climate change science. Specific recommendations are made to capture synergies between wetlands and carbon cycle management, adaptation and resiliency to further enable researchers, policy makers and practitioners to protect wetland carbon and climate adaptation/resiliency ecosystem services.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-205
    Number of pages23
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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