Wetlands

Whether coastal marshes, inland swamps, or remote bogs, wetlands play an important ecological, economic, and cultural role in societies around the world.  Wetlands are technically defined by hydrology patterns, soil characteristics and/or types of vegetation present in a certain area. The valuable services they provide include water quality improvement and protection, water storage during flooding, erosion control in coastal areas, and rich and diverse wildlife habitat.


 

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Plant Last Updated on 2014-09-08 22:26:25 A plant is any one of the vast number of organisms within the biological kingdom Plantae; in general, these species are considered of limited motility and generally manufacture their own food. They include a host of familiar organisms including trees, forbs, shrubs, grasses, vines, ferns, and mosses. Conventionally the term plant implies a taxon with characteristics of multicellularity, cell structure with walls containing cellulose, and organisms capable of photosynthesis. Modern classification schemes are driven by somewhat rigid categorizations inherent in DNA and common ancestry.[1] Throughout most of the history of science from Aristotle to Linnaeus and into the 20th century, species were divided into two kingdoms: animals and plants. Driven by DNA characterizations and other modern analysis, fungi and bacteria have now been removed to separate kingdoms; in particular,... More »
Freshwater Last Updated on 2014-09-06 18:32:23 The definition of freshwater is water containing less than 1000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, most often salt. The global distribution of freshwater resources varies greatly from region to region (see Figure 1). An 'inventory' of Earth's waters shows that approximately 97% of the global water supply is found in the oceans, which are saline. A very small amount of salty water is also located in saline lakes (e.g., the Caspian Sea). The remaining water inventory (3%) is 'freshwater'. Permanent ice (e.g., continental and mountain glaciers) is the largest freshwater storage on Earth, accounting for about 2% of the total global supply - or nearly 69% of the total freshwater supply. Freshwater is also found beneath the Earth's surface as groundwater (approximately 30% of the total freshwater supply) and in surface water storages such as lakes, streams,... More »
Keoladeo (Bharatpur) National Park, India Last Updated on 2014-07-07 14:58:21 Keoladeo (Bhartpur) National Park (27°10'N, 77°31'E is a World Heritage Site situated in eastern Rajasthan. The park is 2 kilometers (km) south-east of Bharatpur and 50km west of Agra. Established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850's, the area was designated as a bird sanctuary on 13 March 1956 and a Ramsar site in October 1981. The last big shoot was held in 1964 but the Maharajah retained shooting rights until 1972. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1985. 2,873 hectares (ha) Rajasthan State Government 174 meters (m) The area consists of a flat patchwork of marshes in the Gangetic plain, artificially created in the 1850s and maintained ever since by a system of canals, sluices and dykes. Normally, water is fed into the marshes twice a... More »
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, California Last Updated on 2014-07-01 16:13:44 The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 27 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide as field laboratories for scientific research and estuarine education. Elkhorn Slough is one of the relatively few coastal wetlands remaining in California. The main channel of the slough, which winds inland nearly seven miles, is flanked by a broad salt marsh second in size in California only to San Francisco Bay. The reserve lands also include oak woodlands, grasslands and freshwater ponds that provide essential coastal habitats that support a great diversity of native organisms and migratory animals. More than 400 species of invertebrates, 80 species of fish and 200 species of birds have been identified in Elkhorn Slough. The channels and tidal creeks of the slough are nurseries for many species of fish. At least six threatened or endangered species... More »
Enriquillo wetlands Last Updated on 2014-06-30 17:20:34 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection Consisting of a series of lagoons, this ecoregion corresponds to the remains of an old marine channel that divided the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) into two paleoislands more than 5000 years ago. The largest lake in this ecoregion, Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic is the largest and most hypersaline lake in all of the Antilles. It consists of a depression that is approximately 44 meters (m) below sea level, surrounded by thorny subtropical mountains and dry forests of great biological interest. This lake is home to the largest population of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), although currently its populations are at risk. It is also the habitat for the iguana cornuda (Cyclura cornuta), which is endemic to the island of Hispaniola and the iguana de Ricord (C. ricordi), the... More »