17 Jul 2017 - 13:00

The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Anneli Ekblom, Lindsey Gillson and Michel Notelid in WIREs Water. The article is titled, "Water flow, ecological dynamics, and management in the lower Limpopo Valley: a long‐term view”. The abstract is provided below but the full paper may be downloaded here.

"In this contribution, we review long‐term (millennial–decadal scale) river‐flow changes, climate interactions, and interlinkage with vegetation dynamics, as well as society and policy, focusing on the lower Limpopo Valley (from the South African border through Mozambique). Drawing on paleoecological data, we address the valley's potential for defining critical ecological thresholds and managing an adaptive ecological landscape, by focusing on the dynamic relationship between different drivers (fire, hydrology, and grass/tree relationships). We briefly review the long‐term interactions between water flow, climate variability, and society using archeological records and written sources. Lastly, we analyze the social and political context of water management, focusing on the last 100 years and transboundary water management. We also discuss planning and mitigation in relation to climate change and rainfall extremes that are projected to increase. It is stressed that forward‐thinking policies must heed long‐term climate variability, hydrology and biological and social impact and to plan and mitigate for environmental events. The discussion also brings to the fore the importance of an adaptable and equitable strategy in cross‐border water sharing."