Browsing All Posts filed under »wetland«

Water quality: documenting a problem

June 26, 2022

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Many villages in subtropical countries possess ponds that can be used for a variety of purposes, including aquaculture, flood mitigation, groundwater recharge, carbon sequestration, recreation, biodiversity protection and water supply for irrigation and drinking.  However, in a large number of cases, these services can’t be supplied because the ponds are polluted.  As part of an […]

How big should samples of aquatic vegetation be?

December 14, 2021

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When sampling aquatic vegetation what plot size should you use?  Ideally, the aim should be to choose the smallest area in which the species in the plant community in question are adequately represented – in graphical terms, this is when the curve of the number of species plotted against sample area flattens out. For terrestrial […]

Key wetland species deliver most ecosystem services

September 28, 2021

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There’s a lot of evidence that in ecosystems such as grasslands and forests, biodiversity is positively related to productivity and to the efficiency of nutrient recycling and decomposition.   On this basis it can be argued that the loss of biodiversity is likely to damage the delivery of ecosystem services.  However, in the case of wetlands, […]

Wetlands are prime targets for herbivores

September 28, 2021

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Although studies of herbivory in freshwater ecosystems have focussed mainly on the grazing of algae, recent findings have shown that, by reducing macrophyte abundance, invertebrate herbivores can have a significant impact on the structure and function of freshwater communities.  In fact, on average they remove around 45% of the plant biomass in freshwater ecosystems, compared […]

A fertile field for water conservation

June 7, 2021

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In flooded paddy fields, which are the most extensive man-made wetlands, evapotranspiration is an important cause of water loss, and increasing concerns about climate change have led rice farmers to use blanketing cover crops as a water conservation measure.  Cover crop candidates include species of Azolla, which are small floating ferns commonly found in paddies […]

Biodiversity offsets: compliance doesn’t guarantee ecosystem function

March 13, 2021

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When human activities impair habitats and reduce biodiversity, environmental offsets, such as the creation of new wetlands and the planting of native vegetation, can help to preserve ecosystem function and services.  However, the success of offsetting projects depends on the extent to which the required measures are complied with, and compliance is often poor.  This […]

Are there more species in permanent waters?

December 16, 2020

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How important is the influence of permanent water on the biodiversity of lakes, ponds and wetlands? Because many freshwater habitats dry out on a regular basis, to survive under such conditions organisms need to be able to exist as terrestrial adults or dormant stages, or to migrate to more permanent water bodies.  Despite these challenges, […]

Why it’s important to protect water at its source

September 26, 2020

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In the present age, when human activity has an increasingly dominant influence on the environment, water security has become a pressing issue, and growing  efforts and funds are spent on maintaining water quality and reliable flows.  While most approaches to water security focus on the provision of conventional infrastructure such as dams and treatment systems, […]

How birds use Amazonian lakes

June 25, 2020

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In the Amazon, most ecological studies have focussed on forest environments and data on freshwater biodiversity are relatively scant, even though vast areas of the catchment are flooded for several months each year.   In the largest ecological study of Amazonian waterbird communities to date, the dependence of birds on the physical and spatial features of […]

Soils as a guide to wetland condition

March 31, 2020

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Because wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services but are vulnerable to human impacts, increasing efforts have been made to develop indicators of wetland condition.  Wetland ecosystems are normally described by reference to three core dimensions, namely hydrology, biological communities and soils, but the most poorly developed condition indices are those based on soils, which don’t feature […]