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Paleoecological Evidence for Variability and Change in Estuaries: Insights for Management

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Applications of Paleoenvironmental Techniques in Estuarine Studies

Part of the book series: Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research ((DPER,volume 20))

Abstract

Misuse of land and water resources has led to the degradation of many estuaries. As a result, present day management often focuses on developing strategies to reverse or contain these environmental impacts. However, a lack of long-term data on pre-impact conditions makes it difficult to define management goals and assess if management strategies have been, or are likely to be successful. Paleoecology is a useful tool in environmental management as it allows natural variability, pre-impact conditions, the rate, extent, direction and causes of change, and ecosystem responses to remediation and restoration attempts to be assessed. Paleoecological techniques have improved markedly during recent decades, particularly with regard to methodological advances, which allow studies to be tailored to estuarine management programs. What remains is for contemporary management approaches to consider the lessons available from historical change documented through paleoecology. This chapter outlines ways in which paleoecological approaches may be applied to estuarine management and the considerations for their integration into direct management outcomes.

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Saunders, K.M., Gell, P.A. (2017). Paleoecological Evidence for Variability and Change in Estuaries: Insights for Management. In: Weckström, K., Saunders, K., Gell, P., Skilbeck, C. (eds) Applications of Paleoenvironmental Techniques in Estuarine Studies. Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research, vol 20. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-0990-1_4

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