Browsing All Posts filed under »wetland«

Homing in on factor interactions

March 27, 2017

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In most cases the dynamics of ecological systems are best explained as responses to a number of interacting environmental factors, rather than to a single variable. Such interactions can be complex, and although they may have major implications for management, they’re typically very poorly understood. A team of Australian researchers has proposed a method for […]

Water birds bring up the subject of plant dispersal

December 13, 2016

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Waterfowl play an important role in the dispersal of plants by consuming and then defaecating their seeds. However, although birds such as ducks ingest a wide range of seeds, the digestive activity in their guts generally means that soft-bodied seeds become non-viable. Regurgitation of still-intact seeds is a possible alternative method of dispersal that allows […]

Emergent wetland plants as conduits for methane

December 13, 2016

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Wetlands release more methane to the atmosphere than other any other type of ecosystem and wetland plants, especially those in the shallow fringing zones, play an important role in methane dynamics. However, aquatic plants can be damaged by the grazing activities of herbivorous animals. To examine the impacts of grazing damage on the release of […]

Advantages of rough wetland designs

June 1, 2016

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In natural wetlands, the unevenness of the ground creates variation in environmental factors such as soil moisture and temperature, and this variability is a positive influence on the range of plant species that are able to colonise the area. As they become established, plants such as sedges and rushes slowly create tussocks, which further increase […]

Remote surveillance: assessing water quality

June 1, 2016

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Remote sensing technology gives natural resource managers and landowners the ability to monitor environmental conditions in new and powerful ways. However, the remote assessment of water quality in lakes and ponds is complicated by wide variations in the inorganic and organic composition of suspended particles, which affect the optical environment, and the moderate- and medium-resolution […]

Constructed wetlands can boost functional diversity

March 23, 2016

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The success of freshwater restoration projects has typically been assessed by reference to structural ecosystem features, such as water quality and species diversity. To date, indicators of ecosystem function have seldom been used for restoration assessment, but this situation is likely to change with the growing recognition that ecosystem processes are reflected in the biological […]

Wetlands are cool places

December 18, 2015

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A largely overlooked ecosystem service provided by wetlands is the cooling of surrounding landscapes. Most of the solar energy that strikes a wetland is used to evaporate water, a process that doesn’t increase the ambient temperature because energy is “hidden” as latent heat in the kinetic movement of water vapour molecules. The water vapour then […]