Traditionally, wetland management strategies have focused on single familiar objectives, such as improving water quality, strengthening biodiversity, and providing flood control. Despite the relevant amount of studies focused on wetland creation or restoration with these and other objectives, still little is known on how to integrate objectives of wetland creation or restoration at different landscape scales. We have reviewed the literature to this aim, and based on the existing current knowledge, we propose a four step approach to take decisions in wetland creation or restoration planning. First, based on local needs and limitations we should elucidate what the wetland is needed for. Second, the scale at which wetland should be created or restored must be defined. Third, conflicts and compatibilities between creation or restoration objectives must then be carefully studied. Fourth, a creation or restoration strategy must be defined. The strategy can be either creating different unipurpose wetlands or multipurpose wetlands, or combinations of them at different landscape scales. In any case, in unipurpose wetland projects we recommend to pursue additional secondary objectives. Following these guidelines, restored and created wetlands would have more ecological functions, similar to natural wetlands, especially if spatial distribution in the landscape is considered. Restored and created wetlands could then provide an array of integrated environmental services adapted to local ecological and social needs. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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