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Title: Evaluating the role of biodiversity, ecosystem services and real-world management in the restoration of wetlands in multi-functional landscapes
Author: Orgill, Katharine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 5669
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Wetlands are important for supporting biodiversity and providing ecosystem services, which has provided impetus for landscape scale wetland restoration. Whilst the extensive restoration of wetlands is desirable, this is rarely feasible in multi-functional landscapes; rather, patches need to be integrated with other land uses and consider real-world factors. Much uncertainty exists over patch configuration and integration within the landscape, which raises issues for effective delivery. This study addresses this research gap with an examination of biodiversity and ecosystem services delivery in the Humberhead Levels (HHL) Nature Improvement Area (NIA) landscape. A combination of field data and models were used to map biodiversity and ecosystem services, alongside current wetlands, to develop a series of restoration options, based on physical suitability and optimising biodiversity and ecosystem services. The influence of real-world factors on wetland restoration was also investigated, through examination of documentation and interviews with practitioners working within the NIA. The NIA restoration plan was compared with the restoration options developed, to understand the relative influences of biodiversity, ecosystem services and real-world factors on decisions regarding wetland restoration in the landscape. Biodiversity provided founding principles for many decisions, but real-world factors, such as existing conservation work, agriculture and resources, exerted strong influences on final decisions. Ecosystem services was considered, but was less embedded in decision making, due to uncertainty and hesitation over its application. Our study highlighted the need for better evidence to inform decision making and further guidance on the application of ecosystem services. Realworld factors were influential and this needs to be more explicitly incorporated into landscape scale design and guidance. This study furthers understanding of how multi-functional landscapes can be designed to optimise biodiversity and ecosystem services, and other considerations that are needed for practical delivery, which is of value to the HHL and other landscape scale conservation projects.
Supervisor: Moggridge, Helen ; Warren, Philip ; Maltby, Lorraine ; Sharp, Liz Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available