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A review of selected ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes


A review of selected ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes



Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 15(1): 92-106



ISSN/ISBN: 1463-4988

DOI: 10.1080/14634988.2011.624970

Significant ecosystem services derive from the coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes even though two-thirds of the original coastal wetlands have been lost since European settlement, and the remaining 126, ha of U.S. coastal wetlands and ?7, ha of Canadian wetlands are affected by anthropogenic stressors. Published information indicates that wildlife habitat, fisheries support, and water quality improvement are significant ecosystem services provided by Great Lakes coastal wetlands that should be strongly considered during management decision making. 3 species of waterfowl, 155 breeding bird species, and 55 species of reptiles and amphibians are supported by coastal wetland habitats across the Basin. Nearly all sport and commercial Great Lakes fish species use coastal wetlands for life-cycle functions, and Great Lakes food webs are supported by wetland export of young sport and forage fish. Biological responses indicate declines in the wildlife and fishery services with increasing levels.

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Accession: 036473843

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