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Riparian buffers in tropical agriculture: scientific support, effectiveness, and directions for policy

Luke, Sarah H., Slade, Eleanor M., Gray, Claudia L., Annammala, Kogila V., Drewer, Julia, Williamson, Joseph, Agama, Agnes L., Ationg, Miklin, Mitchell,, Simon, Vairappan, Charles S., and others. (2019) Riparian buffers in tropical agriculture: scientific support, effectiveness, and directions for policy. Journal of Applied Ecology, 56 (1). pp. 85-92. ISSN 0021-8901. (doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13280) (KAR id:69532)


There is a weak evidence-base supporting the effective management of riparian ecosystems within tropical agriculture. Policies to protect riparian buffers - strips of non-cultivated land alongside waterways – are vague and highly variable between countries. From a rapid evidence appraisal we find that riparian buffers are beneficial for hydrology, water quality, biodiversity, and other ecosystem functions in tropical landscapes. However, effects on connectivity, carbon storage, or emissions reduction remain understudied. Riparian functions are mediated by buffer width and habitat quality, but explicit threshold recommendations are rare. Policy implications. A one-size-fits-all width criterion, commonly applied, will be insufficient to provide all riparian functions in all circumstances. Context-specific guidelines for allocating, restoring and managing riparian buffers are necessary to minimise continued degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in tropical agriculture.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1365-2664.13280
Uncontrolled keywords: river, riparian reserve, riparian corridor, environmental policy, ecosystem function, water quality, biodiversity, conservation set-aside
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
S Agriculture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Matthew Struebig
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 14:49 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 10:55 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Mitchell,, Simon.

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Struebig, Matthew J..

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