Using lake sediments to assess the long-term impacts of anthropogenic activity in tropical river deltas

Richard E Walton* (Corresponding author), Heather L Moorhouse, Lucy R Roberts, Jorge Salgado, Cai JT Ladd, Nga Thu Do, Virginia N Panizzo, Pham Dang Tri Van, Nigel K Downes, Duc Anh Trinh, Suzanne McGowan, Sarah Taylor, Andrew CG Henderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Tropical river deltas, and the social-ecological systems they sustain, are changing rapidly due to anthropogenic activity and climatic change. Baseline data to inform sustainable management options for resilient deltas is urgently needed and palaeolimnology (reconstructing past conditions from lake or wetland deposits) can provide crucial long-term perspectives needed to identify drivers and rates of change. We review how palaeolimnology can be a valuable tool for resource managers using three current issues facing tropical delta regions: hydrology and sediment supply, salinisation and nutrient pollution. The unique ability of palaeolimnological methods to untangle multiple stressors is also discussed. We demonstrate how palaeolimnology has been used to understand each of these issues, in other aquatic environments, to be incorporated into policy. Palaeolimnology is a key tool to understanding how anthropogenic influences interact with other environmental stressors, providing policymakers and resource managers with a ‘big picture’ view and possible holistic solutions that can be implemented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnthropocene Review
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 09 Oct 2023

Research theme

  • Sustainable water and land use

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