Presentation on theme: "Ecosystem Services of Wetlands in an Energy-Limited Future William J. Mitsch, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Environment and Natural Resources Director,"— Presentation transcript:
Ecosystem Services of Wetlands in an Energy-Limited Future William J. Mitsch, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Environment and Natural Resources Director, Olentangy River Wetland Research Park Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Engineering The Ohio State University
Outline The big global issues Ecological engineering Wetland ecosystem services and human history Optimizing ecosystem services of wetlands—6 case studies Conclusions
2100200019001800 0 2 4 6 8 10 Human population (billions) Worldwide human population projection Source: Mitsch and Jørgensen 2004
100 80 60 40 20 0 190019201940 Atmospheric CO 2 Available Nitrogen 196019802000 Percent Change Worldwide carbon and nitrogen
Worldwide oil discovery and production Source: Day et al., 2009
Ecosystems and Complexity Natural ecosystems are complex entropy- fighting systems, and in that complexity comes an infinite amount of feedbacks and adaptations that contribute to resiliency. Human society, as a “part of” nature and not “apart from” nature would do well to recognize and use the important functions of nature (rather than destroy them) to provide a resilient and sustainable society.
Ecological Engineering the design of sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both Source: Mitsch and Jørgensen, 2004. Ecological Engineering and Ecosystem Restoration, J. Wiley.
Wetlands and riparian ecosystems have major roles in restoring the viability of cities and rural areas
Water quality improvement Floodwater retention Biodiversity islands and corridors Carbon sequestration Locations for human relaxation and nature observation/education Wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services:
Babylonian Cultures in their Watery Environment Human History and Wetlands
“Marsh Arabs,” southern Iraq Human History and Wetlands
Camarguais, southern France Human History and Wetlands
Cajuns, Louisiana (early 1900s) Human History and Wetlands
Native Americans (Sokaogon Chippewa), Wisconsin Human History and Wetlands
We have lost an estimated 50% of our original wetlands in the world. In Ohio, USA, we have lost 90% of our original wetlands. Human History and Wetlands
Indian Ocean Tsunami 230,000 people killed or missing in late December 2004 as a result of a massive tsunami around the Indian Ocean caused by earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia Destruction of mangrove swamps for shrimp farms and tourist meccas bears some of the responsibility. In the area hardest hit, 26% of mangrove wetlands, or 1.5 million ha, had been destroyed from 1980 to 2000
Mangrove Tidal Creek, Koh Phra Tong, Phang Nga, Thailand Before the Indian Ocean Tsunami Indian Ocean Tsunami
Mangrove Tidal Creek, Koh Phra Tong, Phang Nga, Thailand After the Boxing Day Tsunami (February 2005) Indian Ocean Tsunami
Coastal surges and mangrove forests Pre-tsunami—Simulation models illustrated that a wide (100 m) belt of dense mangrove trees (referred to as a “greenbelt”) could reduce a tsunami pressure flow by more than 90% (Hiraishi and Harada, 2003). Post tsunami—In an area of S.E. India there was significantly less damage where mangroves had been conserved (Danielsen et al., 2005; Science) Indian Ocean Tsunami
1839 1870 1993 2020 Past and Projected Wetland Loss in the Mississippi Delta (1839 to 2020) NEW ORLEANS Coastal Louisiana
1: August 23, 2005 2: August 26, 2005 3: August 28, 2005 4: August 29, 2005 TROPICAL DEPRESSION TROPICAL STORM CATEGORY 1 CATEGORY 2 CATEGORY 3 CATEGORY 4 CATEGORY 5 Coastal Louisiana
Hurricane Katrina storm surge near New Orleans, estimated to be 5.5 - 6 m high Coastal Louisiana
The Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia in 2008 = 20,700 km 2 (8,000 mi 2 ) Mississippi-Ohio-Missouri (MOM) Basin Restoration
Better Fertilizer Management Created/Restored Wetlands Restored Riparian Bottomlands Mitsch et al. 2001 Mississippi-Ohio-Missouri (MOM) Basin Restoration 2 million hectares of these ecosystems are needed
Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
Columbus OHIO Goal is to create 28,000 ha of riparian systems and wetlands in one watershed in Ohio Mississippi-Ohio-Missouri (MOM) Basin Restoration
Wetland typeg-C m -2 yr -1 Reference General range for wetlands20–140Mitra et al. (2005) Tropical wetland (9.5 m core from Indonesia) 56 (for 24,000 yrs) 94 (for last 500 yrs) Page et al. (2004) Boreal peatlands15–26Turunen et al. (2002) Temperate peatlands10–46Turunen et al. (2002) Created temperate marshes, OH (10- year average) 180–190Anderson and Mitsch (2006) Restored prairie pothole wetlands, North America 305Euliss et al. (2006) Reference prairie pothole wetlands83Euliss et al. (2006) EARTH University tropical wetland255Bernal and Mitsch Old Woman Creek Ohio, temperate wetland 143Bernal and Mitsch Carbon Sequestration in Wetlands Source: Mitsch and Gosselink, 2007
Conclusions If ever there were a transdiscipline whose time has come, it is ecological engineering. Source: Clugston, 2007
2025-2030 18001900200021002200 Global energy use/year Ecological Engineering developed Ecological Engineering needed Conclusions
Wetlands provide many ecosystem services such as human protection in coastal areas, water quality improvement in watersheds, and carbon retention almost everywhere. Their conservation, creation, and restoration should be international priorities.
Conclusions City landscapes especially should include wetland ecosystems for the many ecosystem services that they provide including human relaxation and ecological education.
Conclusions Wetland parks as part of urban developments, can not only be maintained with a small carbon cost but also as large carbon sinks.
Conclusions Engineers, scientists, and policy makers need to recognize that Mother Nature (self-design) and Father Time (it takes time) are the parents and guardians of functional ecosystems.
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