A paper on climate change and lakeshore conservation written by our Technical Director, Carlos Abrahams, has recently been quoted in a paper on water level fluctuations and their effect on subtropical floodplain lakes.
Carlos’ paper, ‘Climate change and lakeshore conservation: a model and review of management techniques‘ (Abrahams, 2008), proposes the use of Grime’s CSR theory (a three-way classification of plant life histories, dividing species into competitive, stress-tolerant or ruderal groups depending on their observed traits) as a framework to understand the potential impacts of climate change on shoreline vegetation.
Understanding such impacts is important, as climate change is expected to cause significant changes to the hydrology of lakes, reservoirs and other wetlands. In particular, it could increase the level of disturbance produced by water-level fluctuations, which could have adverse consequences for biodiversity, water quality and human uses.
Abrahams (2008) argues that strategies to cope with these climate change impacts are currently poorly developed and, as well as proposing the use of Grime’s CSR theory, recommends a series of practical management techniques that will contribute to the adaptation capacity of shoreline ecosystems. The four key areas that he highlights are hydrological controls, substrate conditions, shoreline topography and vegetation establishment.