Wetlands Essay

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Wetlands are unique ecosystems, unique because of their hydrologic conditions and their characteristic role as a transitional zone between terrestrial and aquatic habitats (Mitsch & Gosselink, 2007). According to Mitsch and Gosselink (2007) there are three main components used to describe wetlands. Firstly, they are known by their presence of water, which can either be seen as surface water or it can be saturating the root zone. Secondly their soil conditions differ from other areas, as being water-logged for all or part of the year gives hydric soil, resulting in anaerobic conditions. And lastly is the unique vegetation that is found here as it is necessary for the plant species to have special adaptations to the waterlogged conditions, fluctuations in water level and the decreased oxygen level. These three components can be used together to help identify a wetland but there is no one universal definition. The widest description that is currently used to define a wetland is the following which is used by Ramsar convention (Scott & Jones, 1995): “… wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static of flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.”…show more content…
They are known to provide essential habitats for breeding, rearing and feeding for many species of animals and their young (Bardecki, 1984). Being amongst some of the most productive ecosystems in the world an immense variety of animal species are adapted to live in wetlands and many wildlife depends on the presence of wetlands (Mitsch & Gosselink, 2007). For example for many species of fish and shellfish an area of wetland is necessary for their survival as a location for them to spawn and to feed (Mitsch & Gosselink,

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