Wetlands: taking the mystery out of these mysterious ecosystems
It was not long ago that many people believed wetlands to be wastelands, harbours of disease, and places worthy only of draining for other land uses. Fortunately, during the last 10-20 years, public and even political opinion has turned in favour of wetlands, with an understanding of the importance of wetlands from both social and ecological perspectives. For example, wetlands play a role in transforming the landscape (removing pollution, slowing erosion), act as a source (of water, certain kinds of sediment, plants, animals, peat, and gases), and as sinks (for flood control/water augmentation, organic matter, and carbon). Many readers will know that wetlands are unique environments and often contain the greatest comparative diversity of organisms, including plants, animals, and fungi, many of which show fidelity to only wetlands and consequently are rare.
Thormann, M. N. & Locky, D. A. (2001). Wetlands: Taking the mystery out of these mysterious ecosystems. The Iris, 40(Summer), 1–7. Retrieved from http://anpc.ab.ca
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