Conservation and Management of Wetlands and Aquatic Landscapes: The Vital Role of Connectivity

  • Robert P. Brooks


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.


Headwater Stream Vernal Pool Green Infrastructure Wood Frog Riparian Corridor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Riparia, Department of GeographyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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