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St Lucia is the world's oldest protected estuary and Africa's largest estuarine system. It is also the centerpiece of South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and has been a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance since 1986. Knowledge of its biodiversity, geological origins, hydrology, hydrodynamics and the long history of management is unique in the world. However, the impact of global change has culminated in unprecedented challenges for the conservation and management of the St Lucia system, leading to the recent initiation of a project in support of its rehabilitation and long-term sustainability. This timely volume provides a unique source of information on the functioning and management of the estuary for researchers, students and environmental managers. The insights and experiences described build on over 60 years of study and management at the site and will serve as a valuable model for similar estuaries around the world.
List of contributors
Foreword Alan Whitfield
1. South Africa's first World Heritage Site Roger N. Porter
2. Management history Ricky H. Taylor
3. Geological history Greg A. Botha, Sylvi Haldorsen and Naomi Porat
4. The marine environment Allan D. Connell and Sean N. Porter
5. Catchment hydrology Derek D. Stretch and Andrew Z. Maro
6. The Wetlands William N. Ellery, Suzanne E. Grenfell, Michael C. Grenfell, Marc C. Humphries and Kirsten B. Barnes
7. Estuary and lake hydrodynamics Derek D. Stretch, Clint P. Chrystal, Robynne A. Chrystal, Christopher Maine and Justin J. Pringle
8. Groundwater hydrology Bruce E. Kelbe, Ricky H. Taylor and Sylvi Haldorsen
9. Physico-chemical environment Renzo Perissinotto, Nicola K. Carrasco and Ricky H. Taylor
10. Microalgae Renzo Perissinotto, Guy C. Bate and David G. Muir
11. Macrophytes Janine B. Adams, Sibulele Nondoda and Ricky H. Taylor
12. Benthic invertebrates Deena Pillay, Sarah J. Bownes and Holly A. Nel
13. Zooplankton Nicola K. Carrasco, Renzo Perissinotto and Hendrik L. Jerling
14. Penaeid prawns Anthony T. Forbes and Nicolette T. Forbes
15. Fish and fisheries Digby Cyrus
16. Birds Jane Turpie, Ricky H. Taylor, Meyrick Bowker and Caroline Fox
17. Crocodiles Xander Combrink, Jonathan Warner and Colleen T. Downs
18. Hippopotamuses Ricky H. Taylor
19. Alien and invasive species Nelson A. F. Miranda and Janine B. Adams
20. Food webs and ecosystem functioning Ursula M. Scharler and Fiona C. MacKay
21. Climate change impacts Andrew A. Mather, Derek D. Stretch and Andrew Z. Maro
Appendix: web page database, 1900-2010 Nuette Gordon
Renzo Perissinotto is Professor of Marine Biology and Academic Leader in the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. He has published 110 articles in primary peer-reviewed literature and is the senior editor of a book on South African temporarily open/closed estuaries, published in 2010.
Derek D. Stretch is Professor of Hydraulics and Environmental Fluid Mechanics, the eThekwini-sponsored Chair in Civil Engineering and Director of the Centre for Research in Environmental, Coastal and Hydrological Engineering in the School of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
Ricky H. Taylor was Park Ecologist for the iSimangaliso Wetland Park at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, St Lucia Estuary. He has 37 years of experience at the interface between science and management and has completed a PhD on the St Lucia system through the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway.