Protect and restore small wetlands | Science

Despite their size, wetlands smaller than 8 ha perform valuable services, including biodiversity protection, floodwater storage, water quality maintenance, and climate regulation (1, 2). However, human activities and climate change have driven widespread loss and degradation of small wetlands, causing substantial declines in ecological functions (3). Although they may be more vulnerable and recover more slowly than large wetlands (4, 5), small wetlands have long been overlooked in conservation plans, perhaps as a result of inconsistent definitions and limited research attention (6). Recent policies have begun to prioritize small wetlands, but international cooperation will be required to implement the conservation efforts necessary to protect them.

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