Journal article

Confronting challenges of managing degraded lake ecosystems in the Anthropocene, exemplified from the Yangtze River Basin in China

K Zhang, X Yang, M Xu, Q Lin, G Kattel, J Shen

Anthropocene | Published : 2018

Abstract

Freshwater lake ecosystems have supported livelihoods for millennia. Yet, most lakes worldwide today are suffering severe degradation in response to anthropogenic pressures. Scientists and managers are facing pressing challenges to define safe operating space for successful lake management into the future. Achieving these goals requires a clear understanding of nonlinear trajectories of ecosystems response to changes in multiple interacting drivers at multi-decadal scales. Based on a synthesis and analysis of published paleo-environmental records, this paper shows that many lakes in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Basin (MLYB) have undergone abrupt ecological shifts during the 1950s–1980s..

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