Top ten priorities for global saltmarsh restoration, conservation and ecosystem service research

Pétillon, Julien; McKinley, Emma; Alexander, Meghan; Adams, Janine B.; Angelini, Christine; Balke, Thorsten; Griffin, John N.; Bouma, Tjeerd; Hacker, Sally; He, Qiang; Hensel, Marc J.S.; Ibáñez, Carles; Macreadie, Peter I.; Martino, Simone; Sharps, Elwyn; Ballinger, Rhoda; de Battisti, Davide; Beaumont, Nicola; Burdon, Daryl; Daleo, Pedro; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Duggan-Edwards, Mollie; Garbutt, Angus ORCID:; Jenkins, Stuart; Ladd, Cai J.T.; Lewis, Heather; Mariotti, Giulio; McDermott, Osgur; Mills, Rachael; Möller, Iris; Nolte, Stefanie; Pagès, Jordi F.; Silliman, Brian; Zhang, Liquan; Skov, Martin W.. 2023 Top ten priorities for global saltmarsh restoration, conservation and ecosystem service research. Science of The Total Environment, 898, 165544. 13, pp.

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Coastal saltmarshes provide globally important ecosystem services including ‘blue carbon’ sequestration, flood protection, pollutant remediation, habitat provision and cultural value. Large portions of marshes have been lost or fragmented as a result of land reclamation, embankment construction, and pollution. Sea level rise threatens marsh survival by blocking landward migration where coastlines have been developed. Research-informed saltmarsh conservation and restoration efforts are helping to prevent further loss, yet significant knowledge gaps remain. Using a mixed methods approach, this paper identifies ten research priorities through an online questionnaire and a residential workshop attended by an international, multi-disciplinary network of 35 saltmarsh experts spanning natural, physical and social sciences across research, policy, and practitioner sectors. Priorities have been grouped under four thematic areas of research: Saltmarsh Area Extent, Change and Restoration Potential (including past, present, global variation), Spatio-social contexts of Ecosystem Service delivery (e.g. influences of environmental context, climate change, and stakeholder groups on service provisioning), Patterns and Processes in saltmarsh functioning (global drivers of saltmarsh ecosystem structure/function) and Management and Policy Needs (how management varies contextually; challenges/opportunities for management). Although not intended to be exhaustive, the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for addressing each research priority examined here, providing a blueprint of the work that needs to be done to protect saltmarshes for future generations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: saltmarsh conservation and restoration, ecosystem services, global variation, socio-ecological interactions, research priorities
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Nov 2023 10:07 +0 (UTC)

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