Biomanipulation: a useful tool for freshwater wetland mitigation
(2003) 48: 2203-2213
1. Natural wetlands have traditionally been considered as efficient ‘ecological engineers’ for waste water treatment. However, the structure and function of many natural wetlands have been severely altered by the chronic exposure to pollutants, especially nutrients.
2. Despite the similarity of symptoms of eutrophied shallow lakes and wetlands, restoration strategies differ distinctly between these rather similar aquatic systems. Many of the tools applied in shallow lake restoration programs, for example biomanipulation, have received little attention in wetland management and restoration.
3. Although a strong conceptual basis for food web management exists, biotic interactions as influences on wetland communities have been largely neglected by wetland scientists and managers.
4. In this paper we show that biomanipulation may have a strong potential for wetland eutrophication abatement. This potential will be demonstrated by reviewing studies carried out in different wetland types in contrasting climatic regions.
5. We propose four different scenarios for when, where and why biomanipulation may be used to rehabilitate freshwater wetlands. These scenarios reflect different settings of hydrological variability, eutrophication sources and gradients of wind exposure and water colour.