Edited By: Patrick Dugan
304 pages, illus, maps
For many years, the ecology of marshes, estuaries, floodplains, lagoons, swamps and bogs were ignored by naturalists, but in the past few decades they have been recognized as supporting an exceptionally rich diversity of species. Many wetlands throughout the world have now been opened to the public as nature reserves, generating a wide number of visitors and increasing interest from bird-watchers and ecologists. Well known examples are the mangrove swamps of Belize; the Florida Everglades; the Camargue in Provence; Lake Nakuru in Kenya; Australia's Kakadu National Park, and Ellesmere Lake in New Zealand.
This book covers the many aspects of the study of wetlands in a single, portable volume. It begins by defining wetlands, and describes the many different ways in which they function as environments and habitats both for wildlife and for people. The economic importance of wetlands is given particular attention. The author then explains how plants and animals are adapted to survive in wetlands and describes the extraordinary diversity of life found within their boundaries. The loss of wetland environments, particularly to agriculture, is examined, together with the harm to biodiversity that this causes. Ways in which wetlands may be conserved are discussed.
An extensive atlas section maps the location of wetland environments around the world and the topography of wetland regions, and provides descriptions of important and characteristic features.
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