Wetlands provide multiple ecosystem services, and wetland hydrology is one of the key determinants of wetland function. Budai Salt Pan Wetland provides at least 11 ecosystem services, i.e. food provision, genetic materials, climate regulation, water purification and treatment, natural hazard regulation, pollination, spiritual and inspirational, recreational, aesthetic, educational and nutrient cycling. As the wetland is completely encompassed by dikes, there is no natural hydrological connectivity, and the wetland frequently dries out during the dry season due to lack of management and insufficient rainfall. In order to enhance wetland function, including habitat quality and ecosystem services, this study created a water management plan which mimics nature through water gate operation. We conducted experimental gate operations and evaluated the potential impacts on ecosystem services. The results show a positive impact on two of the ecosystem services, climate regulation and genetic materials, due to the increased moisture content and feeding bird individuals after gate operation. There was an insignificant change in the natural hazard regulation service as the gate operation tested in this study addressed issues of water supply rather than increasing detention space through draining. Through mimicking nature, sustainable water management techniques have the potential to enhance ecosystem services in wetlands.
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