Current status of coastal wetlands in China: Degradation, restoration, and future managementby Ting-ting Jiang, Jin-fen Pan, Xin-Ming Pu, Bo Wang, Jing-Jin Pan

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

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Year
2015
DOI
10.1016/j.ecss.2015.07.046
Subject
Aquatic Science / Oceanography

Text

Accepted Manuscript

Current status of coastal wetlands in China: degradation, restoration, and future management

Ting-ting Jiang, Jin-fen Pan, Xin-Ming Pu, Bo Wang, Jing-Jin Pan

PII: S0272-7714(15)30053-6

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2015.07.046

Reference: YECSS 4863

To appear in: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

Received Date: 16 December 2014

Revised Date: 28 July 2015

Accepted Date: 31 July 2015

Please cite this article as: Jiang, T.-t., Pan, J.-f., Pu, X.-M., Wang, B., Pan, J.-J., Current status of coastal wetlands in China: degradation, restoration, and future management, Estuarine, Coastal and

Shelf Science (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2015.07.046.

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 1

Current status of coastal wetlands in China: degradation, restoration, and future management

Ting-ting JIANG a, Jin-fen PAN * a, Xin-Ming PU b, Bo WANG a,Jing-Jin PAN a a Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology (Ocean University of China),

Ministry of Education, Qingdao, 266100, P. R. China b

Research Center of Marine Ecology, First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic

Administration, Qingdao 266061, P. R. China *Corresponding author, phone: +86 532 6678 2910; fax: +86 532 6678 2058; email: jfpan@ouc.edu.cn

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Abstract: 1

China’s coastal wetlands have been under considerable stress and have been severely 2 damaged as a result of continuing population growth, large-scale infrastructural 3 developments, extensive land reclamation projects, and the ineffective control of various 4 types of pollution. The restoration of coastal wetlands in China has consequently become 5 urgent. In this study, we analyze the degradation status of coastal wetlands, also review 6 progress made towards their restoration. We further discuss the weaknesses of policy and 7 institutional frameworks in tackling environmental problems in coastal wetlands. These 8 perspectives on comprehensive and integrated policy requirements for wetland restoration, 9 management, and future development will help ensure better management of coastal 10 wetlands. 11

Keywords: Wetlands; Degradation; Anthropogenic factors; Restoration; Coastal zone 12 management; China 13 14 15

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 3 1. Introduction 1

Wetland ecosystems sustain a rich ecology that produces significant economic 2 benefits and plays an important role in controlling water resources. These environments 3 also harbor a large quantity of species, which are important for maintaining ecological 4 balance and biodiversity. Being known for their habitat functions that significantly 5 benefit wildlife, wetlands not only provide food, water, and shelter for fish, shellfish, 6 birds, and mammals, and serve as a breeding ground and nursery for numerous species 7 (Fretwell et al., 1996), but also act as halfway houses on migratory routes for migratory 8 birds (Davis, 1994). Moreover, wetlands provide functions of storm buffering and 9 sediment stabilization, which can help in climate regulation and erosion reduction 10 (Engelhardt and Ritchie, 2001; Woodward and Wui, 2001; Engelhardt and Ritchie, 2002). 11

Coastal wetlands are an important type of wetland, comprising the transitional zone 12 between the sea and land that closely links marine with terrestrial ecosystems. For 13 purposes of this paper, coastal wetlands are defined as the area including coastal 14 lowlands, tidelands, and shallow waters (less than a water depth of 6m during low tide) 15 that is usually submerged by an immobile or flowing water body under sea-land 16 alternation processes (Han et al., 2006). 17

Coastal wetlands in China are mainly distributed in coastal areas within nine 18 provinces (Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan 19 and Taiwan), one municipality (Tianjin) and one autonomous region (Guangxi) (Fig. 1). 20

Based on the specific regional characters of different areas, there are 12 types of coastal 21 wetlands in China (Table 1). They cover an area of 5,795,900 ha, accounting for 10.85% 22 of the total area of wetlands in the country (Fig. 2) (SFA, 2014). Hangzhou Bay is usually 23

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 4 regarded as the boundary point for dividing southern and northern Chinese coastal 1 wetlands. Southern coastal wetlands mainly include Hangzhou Bay, Quanzhou Bay, the 2

Pearl River Estuary, and Shenzhen Bay coastal wetlands, where bedrock beaches 3 predominate; there are also silt beaches, with tropical coral reef and mangrove 4 ecosystems. Northern coastal wetlands are mainly located in Bohai Rim and in the 5

Jiangsu province; the former mainly includes the regions of the Liaohe River Delta, 6

Nandagang, Tianjin, the Yellow River Delta, Laizhou Bay, and Beidagang, while the 7 latter incorporates the Yancheng shoal, Haizhou Bay, and Chongming Eastern Beach. 8

Sandy and silt beaches dominate the northern coastal wetlands, with rocky shores only 9 found in parts of the Shandong and Liaodong Peninsulas. 10

Coastal wetlands in China provide a significant amount of ecosystem services, 11 including water supply, flood regulation, wastewater storage and natural purification, 12 wildlife habitat, and aquatic life preservation (Chen and Zhang, 2000). In addition, 13

China’s coastal wetlands are important to migratory bird conservation, providing habitats 14 for more than 200 waterbird species. These species include hundreds of thousands of 15 wintering waterfowl and millions of migratory shorebirds along the East Asian-16