Conservation and management of wetlands and aquatic landscapes: The vital role of connectivity

Robert P. Brooks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The aquatic landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) provide important ecosystem services, including ecological functions and societal values, such as floodwater storage, public water supplies, recreational greenbelts, and habitats for a diversity of flora and fauna. The connectivity of aquatic habitats is critically important for protecting regional biodiversity. Impacts may be localized in nature, but as the aquatic and terrestrial portions of a watershed are altered, the viability of these connections, through riparian corridors and proximal patches of natural vegetation, can be negatively affected. Although natural processes can retard succession (e.g., severe floods, fire, disease and insect epidemics), in the northeastern USA natural disturbances typically create a quilt-like mosaic of recovering habitat patches comprised primarily of natural vegetation. In contrast, human - induced land use changes are more likely to result in larger and more permanent alterations over time, with a resultant loss of habitat. Maintaining connectivity among wetland, riparian, and stream habitats by protecting or restoring corridors among these habitats has proven to be a viable approach to conservation. The connectivity requirements for a range of taxa are reviewed, as are planning tools and programs for conserving and restoring connectivity among aquatic habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMid-Atlantic Freshwater Wetlands
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Wetlands Science, Management, Policy, and Practice
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781461455967
ISBN (Print)1461455952, 9781461455950
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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