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Wetland Environments: A Global Perspective

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9841-7
437 pages
October 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Wetland Environments: A Global Perspective (1405198419) cover image
Wetlands - swamp, marsh, bayou, tundra and bog - are places that are rarely visited and often misunderstood but they have, in fact, conspicuous roles in the physical, biological and cultural geography of the world.  They are intrinsically beautiful environments where one may see the natural and essential values in the interaction of water, soil, vegetation, wildlife, and humans.  Wetlands occur at the confluence of unique terrestrial, hydrological and climatic conditions that give rise to some of the most biodiverse regions of the world.  They also play vital roles in the cycling and storage of key nutrients, materials and energy through the Earth s system.

A complete study of wetland environments requires the assessment of their physical and biological attributes, properties and functions of these ecosystems, and the economic, political and social aspects that mediate their use globally.  A systems approach is taken throughout this book which emphasizes the interactions between these elements of wetland ecosystems.  Moreover, selected case studies from across the world are used to illustrate wetland characteristics and circumstances. 

This book is intended to foster a greater awareness and appreciation of wetlands, promote a culture of conservation and wise management, and spread the knowledge that wetlands are important, indeed crucial, elements of the global environment.  Our attempts to understand, manage and enhance wetlands in the twenty-first century are part of the larger effort to maintain a sustainable Earth.

Readership: Introductory or intermediate level undergraduates taking courses on wetland environments

Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com/go/aber/wetland.

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Preface: Why wetlands? xi

Acknowledgements xiv

Part I

1 Wetland overview 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 How much and where 4

1.3 Wetland trends 8

1.4 Wetland preservation and protection 10

1.5 Wetland science 11

1.6 Book approach and outline 13

1.7 Summary 13

2 Wetland criteria 15

2.1 Definitions 15

2.2 Water 16

2.3 Soil 18

2.4 Vegetation 20

2.5 Wetland classification 22

2.6 Peatland 24

2.7 Anthropogenic dimensions of wetlands 27

2.8 Summary 28

3 Methods in wetland research 30

3.1 Introduction 30

3.2 Remote sensing 31

3.2.1 Image resolution and interpretability 32

3.2.2 Wetland image interpretation 35

3.2.3 Macro-level systems 37

3.2.4 Meso-level systems 41

3.2.5 Micro-level systems 42

3.3 Maps and geographic information systems 46

3.4 Physical ground-based methods 48

3.4.1 Surface methods 48

3.4.2 Subsurface methods 51

3.5 Flora, fauna and ecological monitoring and survey methods 53

3.6 Social science methods and techniques 56

3.7 Summary 57

Part II

4 Wetland hydrology 58

4.1 Introduction 58

4.2 Surface and ground water 61

4.3 Floods and flooding 64

4.4 Hydrologic functions of streams and wetlands 65

4.5 Hydrochemistry 68

4.6 Summary 70

5 Wetland soil 72

5.1 Introduction 72

5.2 Brief history and soil classification 73

5.3 Hydric soil criteria 78

5.4 Mineral and organic hydric soils 79

5.5 Submerged wetland substrates 81

5.6 Summary 82

6 Wetland vegetation 86

6.1 Plant adaptations 86

6.1.1 Structural adaptations 86

6.1.2 Biochemical adaptations 88

6.2 Ecological categories 89

6.2.1 Shoreline plants 90

6.2.2 Emergent plants 92

6.2.3 Floating plants 94

6.2.4 Submerged plants 96

6.2.5 Plant zonation 97

6.3 Indicator categories 99

6.4 Plant hardiness zones 101

6.5 Invasive plant species 102

6.6 Summary 105

7 Wetland wildlife 107

7.1 Introduction 107

7.2 Wetland invertebrates 108

7.2.1 Insects 108

7.2.2 Mosquitos 110

7.2.3 Corals 111

7.3 Wetland vertebrates 113

7.3.1 Amphibians 113

7.3.2 Reptiles 115

7.3.3 Birds 117

7.3.4 Mammals 125

7.4 Invasive animal species 130

7.5 Summary 132

Part III

8 Wetland change 135

8.1 Introduction 135

8.2 Hydroseral succession 136

8.3 Sea-level change and crustal movements 139

8.3.1 Glacial eustasy 139

8.3.2 Glacial isostasy 141

8.3.3 Complicated responses 141

8.3.4 Modern sea-level rise 143

8.4 Climate change 147

8.4.1 Climate basics 147

8.4.2 Climate and wetlands 150

8.5 Fire 152

8.6 Summary 154

9 Wetlands through time 156

9.1 Introduction 156

9.2 Coal 157

9.2.1 Paleozoic coal 157

9.2.2 Cretaceous–Tertiary coal and lignite 158

9.3 Amber 160

9.4 Pleistocene and Holocene wetlands 163

9.4.1 Nordic region 164

9.4.2 North America 167

9.4.3 Tropics and Antarctica 171

9.4.4 Holocene climate and early man 171

9.5 Summary 173

10 Environmental cycles and feedback 175

10.1 Biogeochemical cycles 175

10.1.1 Wetland elements 175

10.1.2 Nitrogen 175

10.1.3 Phosphorus, potassium and sulfur 177

10.2 Carbon cycle 179

10.2.1 Carbon reservoirs 179

10.2.2 Carbon balance 179

10.2.3 Carbon gases and climatic feedback 180

10.3 Fossil fuels 181

10.3.1 Fossil-fuel consumption 181

10.3.2 Coal mining and acid rain 183

10.3.3 Estonian oil shale 184

10.4 Human experiment 185

10.5 Summary 187

Part IV

11 Wetland services, resources and valuation 190

11.1 Human use of wetland ecosystems 190

11.2 Ecosystem services 191

11.2.1 Habitats 191

11.2.2 Wetlands and biogeochemical cycles 194

11.2.3 Storm surge and coastal flood protection 195

11.3 Hydrological services 196

11.3.1 Flood abatement 196

11.3.2 Water quality 196

11.3.3 Water storage and diversion 197

11.4 Economic services 199

11.4.1 Extractive industries 199

11.4.2 Pearl production 204

11.4.3 Services industries 207

11.5 Wetland valuations 211

11.5.1 Why value wetlands? 212

11.5.2 Property regimes and externalities in wetland use and valuations 212

11.5.3 How to value wetlands? 215

11.6 Summary 216

12 Conservation and management: Wetland planning and practices 218

12.1 The conservation movement 218

12.2 Wetland resource management 220

12.3 Wetland management plans 221

12.4 Wetland management practices 223

12.4.1 Terrestrial and hydrologic-based strategies 223

12.4.2 Biological and chemical strategies 226

12.4.3 Socio-economic strategies 227

12.5 Summary 229

13 Wetland restoration, enhancement and creation 231

13.1 Introduction 231

13.2 Terminology 232

13.3 Wetland restoration, enhancement and creation design principles 235

13.4 Restoration and enhancement considerations 238

13.5 Approaches to wetland restoration and enhancement 240

13.5.1 Active approaches 240

13.5.2 Passive and hybrid approaches 242

13.6 Artifi cial treatment wetlands 244

13.7 Contaminated mine-water treatment 246

13.8 Summary 249

14 Wetlands governance and public policy 251

14.1 Wetlands governance and policy 251

14.2 International wetland policy 251

14.3 Wetland policy in the developed world 252

14.3.1 United States 253

14.3.2 Canada 255

14.3.3 Western Europe 255

14.3.4 Central Europe 257

14.3.5 Commonwealth of Independent States 260

14.3.6 Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica 262

14.4 National wetland policy in the developing world 264

14.5 Shared wetlands 264

14.6 Summary 266

Part V

15 Low-latitude wetland case studies 268

15.1 Introduction 268

15.2 Sundarbans of South Asia 269

15.3 Okavango Delta of southern Africa 274

15.4 Pantanal of South America 276

15.5 Gulf of Mexico, United States 279

15.5.1 Florida Everglades 281

15.5.2 Mississippi River delta 285

15.5.3 Padre Island and Laguna Madre 291

15.6 Summary 297

16 Middle-latitude wetland case studies 299

16.1 Introduction 299

16.2 Great Plains of North America 299

16.2.1 Upper Arkansas River valley, Colorado and Kansas 300

16.2.2 Biocontrol of saltcedar along the upper Arkansas River valley 305

16.2.3 Cheyenne Bottoms, Kansas 309

16.2.4 Nebraska Sand Hills 314

16.2.5 Missouri Coteau, southern Saskatchewan 318

16.3 Coastal wetlands of Maine and Massachusetts, United States 323

16.3.1 Wells Reserve, southeastern Maine 325

16.3.2 Plum Island Ecosystem, northeastern Massachusetts 326

16.4 Estonia, eastern Baltic region 328

16.5 Summary 333

17 High-latitude and high-altitude wetland case studies 336

17.1 Introduction 336

17.2 Andes Mountains, Venezuela 336

17.3 Southern Colorado, United States 340

17.3.1 Culebra Range 341

17.3.2 San Luis Valley 345

17.4 The Arctic 350

17.4.1 Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska 351

17.4.2 Yukon Delta, Alaska 353

17.4.3 Lena River delta, Russia 354

17.5 Summary 357

18 Sustainability for wetlands 358

18.1 Introduction 358

18.2 Key risks to wetlands 359

18.3 Key opportunities in wetland conservation 362

18.4 Future directions 363

Glossary of wetland types and terms 364

References 372

Index 401

Color Plates are between pages 210 and 211

COMPANION WEBSITE

This book has a companion website: www.wiley.com/go/aber/wetland with Figures and Tables from the book

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James S. Aber:  Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Kansas.  Wide-ranging international experience in northern and central Europe, North and South America involving glaciation, wetlands, tectonics, and remote sensing. 

Firooza Pavri:  Ph.D. in Geography from Ohio State University.  Research experience in South Asia and North America with an interest in society-environment interactions, landscape change, environmental policy, and remote sensing.

Susan W. Aber:   Ph.D in Library and Information Management from Emporia State University, Kansas.  International experience across Europe, southeastern Asia and North America. Special interest in gemstones, particularly amber and pearls.

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“Overall, this is an excellent course resource for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, as well as professionals who wish to deepen their understanding of these complex ecosystems.  Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”  (Choice, 1 August 2013)

 

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