According to US ARMY CROP ENGINEERS and ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ,it define wetland as those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. (EPA, 40 CFR 230.3 and CE, 33 CFR 328.3).
The wetlands are places that connect land and water. It’s a home for the plants and animals to live in. The wetlands may be fed by both fresh and salt water. There are plants in the wetlands that are called emergent plants. Their roots are underwater. There are also carnivorous plants that catch insects to get their nutrients from animals live in the wetlands habitat too. They get their food there and raise their young there. Wetlands are like nurseries for fish and other wildlife.
We need the wetlands because they help reduce flooding. They provide animals with a place to live and they also give migrating birds a place to rest. Wetlands are in every continent in the world except Antarctica. They are found near the oceans and some are far inland.
The wetlands ecosystem is very large. It is made up of emergent, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers. Wetlands are areas of land that are wet at least part of the year. The wetland’s ecosystem contains all of the natural things that make their home in the wetlands. Some of the animals are birds, alligators, worms, crabs, and zooplankton. Some of the plants are ferns, cord grass, sundews, and bladderworts. The carnivorous plants rely on insects for the nutrients they need to survive. All of the inhabitants in wetlands rely on each other for survival.
Types of wetlands are Intertribal zone (marine wetland), Estuarine (river mouth and tide), Freshwater (swamps, fens, bogs and vernal pools).Major characteristics of wetland includes Hydric soil, Hydrology, Hydrophytic vegetation.Hydric soil is poorly drain with water table less than 0.5feets from surface. Wetland require permanent or periodic inundation or soil saturation at surface of week or more during growing season it create anaerobic environment that’s hydrology.50% of composition of dominant plants must obligate wetland species. Obligate and facultative wetland species are most reliable indicators of wetland.
Major reasons for diminishing wetlands are agriculture, residential development, industrial development, oil & gas exploitation, lowering of water table and natural causes. Due to these factors biological & chemical alteration take place & physical destruction. Since pre-settlement 1600 ,nationwide there is 53%loss in wetland areas that causes 50% loss of spawning ground for fish,50% loss of waterfowl habitats,50% loss flood control capability,50% loss of erosion control & sediment –trapping capabilities, Biogeochemistry depend upon hydroperiod.When land is flooded. Oxygen gets used up but decomposers and soil become anaerobic, demand for oxygen is still high other minerals containing oxygen get reduced. If water level drops oxygen enters soil again and reduced substances get oxidized.
Wetlands prevent flooding by holding water much like a sponge. By doing so, wetlands help keep river levels normal and filter and purify the surface water. Wetlands accept water during storms and whenever water levels are high. When water levels are low, wetlands slowly release water. Wetlands also release vegetative matter into rivers, which helps feed fish in the rivers.
Wetlands help to counter balance the human effect on rivers by rejuvenating them and surrounding ecosystems. Many animals that live in other habitats use wetlands for migration or reproduction. For example, herons nest in large old trees, but need shallow areas in order to wade for fish and aquatic life.
Amphibians often forage in upland areas but return to the water to mate and reproduce. While wetlands are truly unique, they must not be thought of as isolated and independent habitat. To the contrary, wetlands are vital to the health of all other biomes and to wildlife and humans everywhere.
Unlike most other habitats, wetlands directly improve other ecosystems. Because of its many cleansing benefits, wetlands have been compared to kidneys. The analogy is good one. Wetlands and kidneys both help control water flow and cleanse the system. Wetlands contribute to the national and local economies by producing resources,enabling recreational activities and providing other benefits, such as pollution control and flood protection. While it can be difficult to calculate the economic value provided by a single wetland, it is possible to evaluate the range of services provided by all wetlands and assign a dollar value.
We should preserve wetlands because they filter water. They give nutrients to plants. They are homes to many animals. They also stop floods in our town. We get stuff like marshmallows and seafood from them too. If we destroy wetlands, think on how much we’ll disturb the natural balance. If we destroy our carnivorous plants, we would have many more flies than normal.
Wetlands are amazing places. We should preserve our wetlands because they hold an important part in life. The plants there produce oxygen and they help prevent flooding and erosion. Bogs where peat grows reduce global warming. Wetlands also provide migrating birds resting places and they filter pollution,Please help us preserve the natural beauty of our local wetlands.
This is Article is Written by “Hina usman” Member of Klimatech Environmental Consultants and Guest Author At Envirocivil.com