Inundation patterns in the Pantanal remain in a relatively natural state, yet a number of significant human influences have occurred in the past, and there is potential for more severe human impacts as development of the region continues in the future. The objectives of this paper are 1) to briefly review the linkages between hydrology and ecological structure and function in the Pantanal; 2) to review some documented cases of historical influences of human activities on hydrology in the region; and 3) to consider potential future impacts, particularly in regard to the recently proposed navigation project known as the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway (or Hidrovía).

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