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Assessment of the long-term response of two wetlands to working for wetlands rehabilitation
Expanded Title:Although the importance of wetlands has been highlighted in numerous studies, these systems are still subject to intense degradation due to unsustainable developments. In recognition of the benefits offered by wetlands, and the need to restore or rehabilitate them, the (Working for Wetlands Programme of the SA National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has (since 2000) led a number of wetland rehabilitation initiatives across South Africa. An assessment of the Working for Wetlands rehabilitation programme is seen to contribute significantly towards the wetland rehabilitation field of practice and future evaluations. This study reports on the evaluation of the long-term response of the two wetlands in KwaZulu Natal, namely, Killarney and Kruisfontein,. These wetlands were chosen because monitoring sites and performance evaluation had been undertaken there from 2002 to 2007, which would allow the comparison of wetland integrity between 2002 and 2012. The main rehabilitation aim for both wetlands was similar, i.e., to re-establish near-natural hydrological conditions and promote the re-establishment of native hydric plants. Though there were improvements, these were not as anticipated, indicating that the time required for a wetland to show the rehabilitation benefits is longer than the seven years used in this study. Two new indices were used for the first time in this study. in order to give more clear description of wetlands responses. These need to be tested before they can be applied further in wetland rehabilitation monitoring and evaluation (viz. to utilise vegetation to quantify changes in long-term wetness and habitat quality.) In addition, the indices are likely to have much broader application, e.g. for wetland delineation and the assessment of current impacts on wetlands. The study showed that site specific rehabilitation objectives must be very clear so that success or failure, can be evaluated, as not all wetlands provide the same services and goods, following rehabilitation.
Date Published:03/04/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Invertebrates
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2035/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0396-3
Authors:Cowden C; Kotze D; Pike T
Project No:K5/2035
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Ground Truth; University of Kwazulu Natal
Document Size:3 185 KB
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