Lake management: is prevention better than cure?

Spears, Bryan M. ORCID:; Hamilton, David P.; Pan, Yang; Zhaosheng, Chu; May, Linda ORCID: 2022 Lake management: is prevention better than cure? [in special issue: Toward preventative management in lakes] Inland Waters, 12 (1). 173-186.

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Globally, anthropogenic actions of land use change and intensification and deliberate or unintentional species invasions have adversely affected lakes, resulting in widespread loss of benefits to society. In recognition of these impacts, restoration efforts have increased in recent years. Restoration is a challenging and expensive process, however, and success rates are variable and often unpredictable. Here, we demonstrate that early actions to prevent degradation of lakes currently in good ecological condition are preferable to attempting to restore lakes that have been allowed to degrade, to allow continuity of ecosystem services. We compare case studies for 3 lakes that use preventative approaches to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic pressures. These initiatives aim to protect or enhance long-term societal benefits through building resilient ecosystems and maintaining ecological integrity. They differ from restoration projects, where lakes are often in an advanced state of degradation resilient to modest restoration efforts. We identify the need to mainstream preventative lake management including building a robust evidence base to support initiatives aimed at reversing the early stages of changes in ecological state.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Water Resources (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2044-2041
Additional Keywords: ecological state, Lake Erhai, Lake Rotorua, Loch Leven, nutrients, policy, restoration
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 16 Jul 2021 16:23 +0 (UTC)

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