Ambio

, Volume 46, Issue 8, pp 915–930 | Cite as

Vulnerability and impacts of climate change on forest and freshwater wetland ecosystems in Nepal: A review

  • Pramod Lamsal
  • Lalit Kumar
  • Kishor Atreya
  • Krishna Prasad Pant
Review

Abstract

Climate change (CC) threatens ecosystems in both developed and developing countries. As the impacts of CC are pervasive, global, and mostly irreversible, it is gaining worldwide attention. Here we review vulnerability and impacts of CC on forest and freshwater wetland ecosystems. We particularly look at investigations undertaken at different geographic regions in order to identify existing knowledge gaps and possible implications from such vulnerability in the context of Nepal along with available adaptation programs and national-level policy supports. Different categories of impacts which are attributed to disrupting structure, function, and habitat of both forest and wetland ecosystems are identified and discussed. We show that though still unaccounted, many facets of forest and freshwater wetland ecosystems of Nepal are vulnerable and likely to be impacted by CC in the near future. Provisioning ecosystem services and landscape-level ecosystem conservation are anticipated to be highly threatened with future CC. Finally, the need for prioritizing CC research in Nepal is highlighted to close the existing knowledge gap along with the implementation of adaptation measures based on existing location specific traditional socio-ecological system.

Keywords

Climate change Forest ecosystem Freshwater wetland ecosystem Impact Socio-ecological adaptation Vulnerability 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental and Rural ScienceThe University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB)KathmanduNepal
  3. 3.School of ArtsKathmandu UniversityLalitpurNepal

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