Unit nine - Water and ecosystems. [Training/Course material]
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Finlayson, M.; Atapattu, Sithara S. 2009. Unit nine - Water and ecosystems. [Training/Course material]. In Smith, L. (Ed.). C126 - Water resources management. 10 units. [Training/Course material]. London, UK: University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP); Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 48p.
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This unit provides an introduction to the key concepts and issues associated with managing water for ecosystems. 'Aquatic ecosystems' is a wide term that includes a range of inland, coastal and marine ecosystems but for the purpose of this module we will concentrate on inland and coastal aquatic ecosystems. Section 1 begins by outlining the natural resources provided by ecosystems and linkages with poverty by identifying the interdependencies and the importance of water. Section 2 details the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and their structure, processes and biodiversity. Section 3 takes a further step and describes the ecosystem services provided by these ecosystems. Section 4 looks at the over-exploitation of the services provided by aquatic ecosystems and how this can lead to ecosystem degradation. The final section concludes the unit by summarising scenarios and management response options. This unit includes an extended listing of recommendations for further reading with brief commentaries on each. These can extend study for the core topics of this unit but also cut across many of the topics covered in earlier units, given the linkages and interdependencies between water for nature and other human uses of water. Students should review the commentaries on these readings but only use this extended listing of reading as a resource to pursue specific interests as far as time allows. Concentration of study on the unit text and recommended Key Readings is sufficient for the examinations. Unit aims: To introduce the concept of natural resources with water being an important resource that supports both the livelihoods of the rural poor and aquatic ecosystems, whilst understanding their inter-linkages and interdependencies; To introduce key concepts of aquatic ecology by describing the variations and structure, the processes, species and genes, and inter-linkages; To introduce the concept of 'ecosystem services' in the context of aquatic ecosystems and to describe the role these play in maintaining the resource as well as supporting livelihoods of the rural poor; To provide an understanding of the key drivers of degradation and impacts on aquatic ecosystems and to describe available assessment tools and identify management approaches.
In Smith, L. (Ed.). C126 - Water resources management. 10 units. [Training/Course material]. London, UK: University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP); Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI).