Managing specific freshwater ecosystems

Document Type

Book Chapter


Centre for Ecosystem Management / School of Science


Arthington, A. H., Finlayson, C. M., Roux, D. J., Nel, J. L., Rast, W., Froend, R., ... & van Niekerk, L. (2018). Managing specific freshwater ecosystems. In Finlayson, C. M., Arthington, A. H., & Pittock, J. (Eds.), Freshwater Ecosystems in Protected Areas (pp. 144-176). New York: Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9781315226385

Available here.


A number of relatively simple changes to the way Protected Areas (PAs) are designed and managed can help to further improve their conservation benefits for surface- and ground-water-dependent freshwater ecosystems and estuaries. These include: avoid using a river as the boundary of a PA; incorporate natural large-scale catchment processes into PAs; ensure that the water regimes of rivers, lakes, peatlands and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, as well as their linkages and interactions, are recognized and well managed within PAs and their catchments; avoid development of visitor infrastructure on priority freshwater ecosystems in PAs; encourage expansion of existing PAs to incorporate biodiversity hotspots, functional processes and connectivity; and promote new PAs for the last remaining free-flowing rivers and other high priority freshwater ecosystems.