The Wetland Book pp 1149-1154 | Cite as

Groundwater Dependent Wetlands

  • Ray Froend
  • Pierre Horwitz
Reference work entry


Groundwater-dependent wetlands (GDW) are no different to other wetlands in their need for management particularly under circumstances where hydrological changes threaten the conservation of wetland values. However, GDW have two important characteristics that make their management challenging. They derive a significant proportion of their annual inflow from hydrological pathways obscured by subterranean geology and geomorphology, and therefore understanding their response to altered groundwater regimes can be perceptually difficult. This same context creates a spatial and temporal “disconnect,” where delays and thresholds need to be understood before cause and effect can be established. Accordingly, GDW are best approached from a starting point of complexity and uncertainty using management frameworks appropriate for the task.


Groundwater dependent wetlands Conceptual models Groundwater Adaptive approach Social learning processes Monitoring 


  1. Falkenmark M, Folke C. The ethics of socio-ecohydrological catchment management: towards hydrosolidarity. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci. 2002;6:1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gentile JH, Harwell MA, Cropper Jr W, Harwell CC, DeAngelis D, Davis S, Ogden JC, Lirman D. Ecological conceptual models: a framework and case study on ecosystem management for South Florida sustainability. Sci Total Environ. 2001;274(1-3):231–53.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Holling CS. Adaptive environmental assessment and management. New York: Wiley; 1978.Google Scholar
  4. Horwitz P, Finlayson CM, Kumar R. Interventions required to enhance human well-being by addressing the erosion of ecosystem services in wetlands. In: Finlayson CM, P.Horwitz, Weinstein P, editors. Wetlands and human health, Wetlands: ecology, conservation and management, vol. 5. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media; 2015. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-9609-5_10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ivey JL, Smithers J, de Loë RC, Kreutzwiser RD. Community capacity for adaptation to climate-induced water shortages: linking institutional complexity and local actors. Environ Manag. 2004;33:36–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kløve B, Ala-aho P, Bertrand G, Boukalova Z, Ertürk A, Goldscheider N, Ilmonen J, Karakaya N, Kupfersberger H, Kvoerner J, Lundberg A, Mileusnić M, Moszczynska A, Muotka T, Preda E, Rossi P, Siergieiev D, Šimek J, Wachniew P, Widerlund A. Groundwater dependent ecosystems part I: hydroecological status and trends. Environ Sci Pol. 2011;14:770–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lloyd JW, Tellam JH, Rukin N, Lerner DN. Wetland vulnerability in East Anglia: a possible conceptual framework and generalized approach. J Environ Manag. 1993;37(2):87–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lyons JE, Runge MC, Laskowski HP, Kendall WL. Monitoring in the context of structured decision-making and adaptive management. J Wildl Manag. 2008;72:1683–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. MacFarlane D, Strawbridge M, Stone R, Paton A. Managing groundwater levels in the face of uncertainty and change: a case study from Gnangara. Water Sci Technol Water Supply. 2012;12:321–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ogden JC, Davis SM, Jacobs KJ, Barnes T, Fling HE. The use of conceptual ecological models to guide ecosystem restoration in South Florida. Wetlands. 2005;25(4):795–809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Parsons S, Caruso N, Barber S, Hayes S. Evolving issues and practices in groundwater dependent ecosystem management. Waterlines Report 46, National Water Commission, Canberra. 2011.Google Scholar
  12. Peterson GD. Ecological management: control, uncertainty, and understanding. In: Cuddington K, BE B, editors. Ecological paradigms lost. Routes of theory change. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2005. p. 371–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Richardson S, Irvine E, Froend R, Boon P, Barber S, Bonneville B. Australian groundwater-dependent ecosystem toolbox part 1: assessment framework. Waterlines report, National Water Commission, Canberra. 2011.Google Scholar
  14. Shafroth PB, Stromberg JC, Patten DT. Woody riparian vegetation response to different alluvial water table regimes. Western N Am Natural. 2000;60(1):66–76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Ecosystem ManagementEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Ecosystem Management, School of Science, Edith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia

Personalised recommendations