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Management and restoration of dune lakes in Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico

  • Luis A. Peralta-Peláez
  • Patricia Moreno-Casasola
  • Iris Neri-Flores
Article

Abstract

Dune lakes are formed in coastal dune depressions. A group of dune lakes in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, was decreed a Ramsar site and/or a state natural reserve. The objective of this study was to characterize and determine a baseline for these water bodies, both urban and rural, comparing them and establishing the guidelines for their management. The study points out the different threats and actual conditions of rural and urban dunelakes and the need for specific management practices. Our hypothesis stated that human activities around these lakes have an important impact and modify water quality, and that contact with the water table acts as a passive means of restoration. The water of 25 lakes was sampled to determine its quality, and wetland vegetation cover was monitored over time. Water quality was the main difference between urban and rural dune lakes; the latter, surrounded by cattle ranching activities and plantations, have lower concentrations of nitrates, ammonium, orthophosphates and total phosphorus. For management purposes, the lakes were divided into three groups (with subgroups) depending on their water quality, whether they are urban or rural, their size, whether or not they form part of the Ramsar site and/or natural reserve, or lie within the range of expansion of the Port of Veracruz. The management recommendations made for each lake are based on generating and applying current regulations, the enforcement of the law, carrying out infrastructure work, conservation and restoration actions, environmental education, organization and training. These lakes are important natural capital for the city, but management plans and ample participation by society are urgently needed.

Keywords

Coastal dunes Ecosystem services Protected areas Ramsar wetland Rural wetlands Urban wetlands 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the following institutions for their financial support: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología y Secretaría de Medio Ambiente (Instituto Nacional de Cambio Climático) Project No. 249270, Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM) project no. 4398.11-P and no. 5483.14-P, Veracruz Technological Institute, and Institute of Ecology A.C. We thank Roberto Monroy for help with the spatial analysis and for making the map, Víctor Vázquez for support in the laboratory, and Bianca Delfosse for revising the English.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tecnológico Nacional de México/IT de VeracruzUnidad de Investigación y Desarrollo de Alimentos (UNIDA). Lab. Ing. Ecológica Ambiental y CienciasVeracruzMéxico
  2. 2.Instituto de EcologíaA.C., Red de Ecología FuncionalVeracruzMéxico

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