Brazilian wetlands: their definition, delineation, and classification for research, sustainable management, and protection

Junk, W. J., Piedade, M. T. F., Lourival, R., Wittmann, F., Kandus, P., Lacerda, L. D., Bozelli, R. L., Esteves, F. A., Nunes da Cunha, C., Maltchik, L., Schongart, J., Schaeffer-Novelli, Y. and Agostinho, A. A. (2014) Brazilian wetlands: their definition, delineation, and classification for research, sustainable management, and protection. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 24 1: 5-22. doi:10.1002/aqc.2386

Author Junk, W. J.
Piedade, M. T. F.
Lourival, R.
Wittmann, F.
Kandus, P.
Lacerda, L. D.
Bozelli, R. L.
Esteves, F. A.
Nunes da Cunha, C.
Maltchik, L.
Schongart, J.
Schaeffer-Novelli, Y.
Agostinho, A. A.
Title Brazilian wetlands: their definition, delineation, and classification for research, sustainable management, and protection
Journal name Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1052-7613
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/aqc.2386
Open Access Status
Volume 24
Issue 1
Start page 5
End page 22
Total pages 18
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract Although 20% of Brazilian territory is covered by wetlands, wetland inventories are still incomplete. In 1993, Brazil signed the Ramsar Convention but a coherent national policy for the sustainable management and protection of wetlands has yet to be established. Major gaps in the definition of a specific wetland policy are twofold: (1) the lack of standardized criteria by which wetlands are defined and delineated that reflects the specific ecological conditions of the country and (2) the lack of a national classification of wetlands that takes into account specific hydrological conditions and respective plant communities. In recent years, efforts have been made at a regional level to improve public awareness of the ecology of Brazilian wetlands, their benefits to society, and the major threats endangering them. Studies have shown that wetlands play a crucial role in the regional hydrological cycle and provide multiple benefits for local populations. Furthermore, Brazilian wetlands contribute significantly to South American biodiversity. Therefore, wetland conservation and sustainable management should be given high legislative priority. This article provides a synthesis of the current body of knowledge on the distribution, hydrology, and vegetation cover of Brazilian wetlands. Their definition, delineation, and classification at the national level are proposed in order to establish a scientific basis for discussions on a national wetland policy that mandates the sustainable management of Brazil's extremely diverse and complex wetlands. This goal is particularly urgent in the face of the continuing and dramatic deterioration of wetlands resulting from large-scale agro-industrial expansion, and hydroelectric projects as well as the projected impact of global climate change on hydrological cycles.
Keyword Amazonian wetlands
cerrado wetlands
Coastal wetlands
Flood pulse
Ramsar Convention
Wetland policy
Wetland vegetation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 15 August 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 50 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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