Assessing the Ecosystem Services of the 21 Largest Freshwater Lakes on Earth

Session ID#: 28183

Session Description:
Earth's largest lakes contain significant quantities of surface, liquid, freshwater. Five of the largest lakes (Baikal, Tanganyika, Superior, Malawi, and Michigan) together hold more than half of this global volume. Together, the 21 largest hold 67% of this crucial resource. In addition, these lakes provide wide array of ecosystem services. Some of these services have been carefully quantified for some lakes, and for other lakes some services have scarcely been noted. An overview of the ecosystem services provided by earth's largest lakes has not been performed. The purpose of this study was to create a first high-level overview of several categories of quantifiable ecosystem services provided by 21 largest lakes on Earth. These 21 lakes provide diverse social, economic, cultural and environmental support in terms of fisheries, marine transportation, tourism, water supply, cultural, and biodiversity. Those social benefits have been carefully studied for only a few of these large freshwater lakes.
Primary Chair:  Rajendra Poudel, NOAA, Office of Chief Financial Officer, Silver Spring, MD, United States
Co-Chair:  Franklin B Schwing, NOAA, Boulder, CO, United States
  • RS - Regional Studies

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