WIT Press


Evaluation Of Ecosystem Services Of Two Wetland Sites On The Wild Coast Of South Africa

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP160571

Volume

210

Pages

10

Page Range

677 - 686

Published

2017

Size

517 kb

Author(s)

Q. L. Ndlazi, C. M. Musampa, M. D. V. Nakin, B. Longo-Mbenza

Abstract

Wetlands provide important and diverse benefits to people around the world, contributing provisioning, regulating, habitat, and cultural services. Wetlands in South Africa are under pressure from drainage, clearance for cultivation, and encroachment of invasive plants. The aim of this study was to assess ecosystem services in Mngazi and Mdumbi wetland sites. In Mdumbi site, two areas were identified while four areas were identified in Mngazi site based on hydrogeomorphic units (HGM). A WET-Eco Services Tool was used to assess goods and services in each wetland site. Questionnaires were also used to solicit the perceptions of communities on wetland impacts. Results revealed that the wetland systems in the lower reaches of Mngazi and Mdumbi Rivers do render a series of services varying from one system to another depending on the size and type of hydrogeomorphic unit. High confidence rating was revealed in provision of natural resources and erosion control in all the wetlands of each site while moderate confidence rating was revealed for provision of erosion control, phosphate trapping, toxicant removal and nitrate removal. Low confidence rating was observed by carbon storage, cultural significance, education, tourism and recreation. The stream flow regulation, sediment trapping, maintenance of biodiversity and sediment trapping varied among wetlands with no clear pattern. In contrary, the majority of respondents perceived the wetlands as bad environments for crime and disasters. These results highlight a need for awareness on ecological importance of wetlands for their effective management.

Keywords

hydrogeomorphic units, wet-ecosystem services. wetland value, Mngazi, Mdumbi