A clear and widely accepted definition of a wetland has yet to be established. Wetlands are of various types and function, and occur in diverse locations, and climates which in part make them difficult to define. Many definitions of a wetland have been posed by different groups and individuals, some of the definitions include: “An area of land that has hydric soil and hydrophytic vegetation, typically flooded for part of the year, and forming a transition zone between aquatic and terrestrial systems (Brady and Weil, 1999).” A wetland is an ecosystem that depends on constant or recurrent, shallow inundation or saturation at or near the surface of the substrate (soil). The minimum essential characteristics of a wetland are recurrent, sustained inundation or saturation at or near the surface and the presence of physical, chemical, and biological features reflective of recurrent, sustained inundation or saturation. (National Research Council, 1995).” In general Mitsh and Gosselink (1993) define wetlands as areas that have characteristics of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, but are neither.
Wetland classification systems are not used consistently by all groups of people, consequently wetland classification differences occur regionally. Wetlands classifications include; bogs, fens, swamps and flood plain forests, marshes, and wet meadows. In North Carolina Wetlands are classified by the source of moisture and include; wetlands sustained by rainfall, wetlands sustained by ground water discharge, wetlands sustained by ground water and surface water, wetlands on rivers and lakes, and wetlands on the ocean. This classification system has subcategories under each type of wetland (Vepra...
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...npoint pollution. J. Soil & Water Conserv. 40:87-97.
Mitsch, W.J. 1993. Landscape design and the role of created, restored, and natural riparian wetlands in controlling nonpoint source pollution. Pages 43-70. In: Created and Natural Wetlands for Controlling Nonpoint Source Pollution, R.K. Olson (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Richards,C.J. (Ed.) 1981. Pocosin Wetlands, Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company.
Van der Valk, A. and R. Jolly. 1993. Recommendations for research to develop guidelines for the use of wetlands to control rural nonpoint source pollution. Pages 167- 190. In: Created and Natural Wetlands for Controlling Nonpoint Source Pollution, R.K. Olson (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
P.E. Greeson, J.R. Clark, and J.E. Clark (Eds.) 1978 Wetland Functions and values: The state of our understanding. Am. Water Resources Assoc., Minneapolis.
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