Velez M D Conde JP Lozoya J Rusak F Garcia-Rodriguez C Seitz T Harmon G Perillo J Escobar S Vilardy (2018)
Maria Isabel Velez 1,, Daniel Conde 2, Juan Pablo Lozoya 3, James Anthony Rusak 4,5 , Felipe García-Rodríguez 6,7 , Carina Seitz 8 , Thomas Harmon 9, Gerardo Miguel Eduardo Perillo 8, Jaime Escobar 10,11 and Sandra Patricia Vilardy 12
1 Department of Geology, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 4P5, Canada
|Velez et al 2018 - water-10-01350-v2_CRN3038.pdf
Paleoenvironmental reconstructions are increasingly being used in conservation biology, ecosystem management, and evaluations of ecosystem services (ES), but their potential to contribute to the ES risk assessment process has not been explored. We propose that the long-term history of the ecosystem provides valuable information that augments and strengthens an ES risk assessment and that it should be considered routinely when undertaking risk assessments. We adjusted a standard ecosystem-based risk management (EBRM) protocol to include paleoenvironmental data, and tested the modified approach on two coastal lagoons in South America. Paleolimnological reconstructions in both lagoons indicate that salinity and nutrients (in Laguna de Rocha), and salinity (in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta), as controlled by hydrologic connectivity with the ocean and freshwater tributaries, have been the key variables behind ecosystem&rsquos function. This understanding, applied to inform various components and steps in the EBRM protocol, suggests that the maintenance of hydrological connections should be a management priority to minimize risk to ES. This work
illustrates the utility of including paleoenvironmental data in an EBRM context and highlights the need for a more holistic approach to risk management by incorporating the long-term history of ecosystem function.