The potential impact of climate change on groundwater-fed wetlands in eastern England

M Herrera-Pantoja, KM Hiscock, RR Boar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Wetlands are fragile ecosystems that provide a range of useful functions. However, such ecosystems have been experiencing persistent pressures and stresses from a range of socio-economic drivers in the last few centuries. In the 21st century, changes in global climate are expected to have impacts on hydrological and water supply regimes, which will in turn impose additional pressures on wetlands. Consequently, the need for quantitative methods to evaluate the likely impact of climate change is essential if appropriate conservation strategies and integrated water management regimes are to be developed. In this paper, a methodology is presented to evaluate the implications of potential climate change on groundwater-fed wetlands underlain by an unconfined limestone (Chalk) aquifer in eastern England, one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the UK. A daily weather generator, a recharge model and a groundwater model have been coupled to investigate the most extreme consequences of future climate change as described by the UKCIP02 'high' greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Simulations showed that a declining trend in wetland water levels could result in loss of species with a small tolerance to dry conditions by the end of the 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-413
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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