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Human impacts on hydrological health and the provision of ecosystemservices: a case study of the eMthonjeni-Fairview Spring Wetland, Grahamstown, South Africa

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Abstract:

Wetland hydrological health and the provision of indirect ecosystem services in the eMthonjeni-Fairview Spring Wetland, Grahamstown, South Africa, were assessed in 2008, using the newly developed wetland assessment tools WET-Health and WET-EcoServices. Variation in health and ecosystem services were assessed over time, based on aerial photograph interpretation and the use of the score sheets in these assessment tools. Hydrological health and indirect ecosystem services of the wetland have been altered since 1949, due to human activities both in the catchment and the wetland. The most significant human intervention on the wetland's hydrological health was the result of road construction and invasion by alien plants. Water use by local residents had an unmeasurable effect on hydrological health. Wetland health is related to the provision of wetland ecosystem services, and cumulative impacts in the catchment and wetland have reduced the provision of many indirect wetland ecosystem services.

Keywords: catchment impacts; land use; wetland integrity; wetland values

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16085914.2010.538508

Affiliations: Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Co-Published by NISC and Taylor & Francis - Subscriber access available here
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