Global wetlands exhibit significant differences in both hydrology and species composition and range from moss-dominated arctic peatlands to seasonally-flooded tropical floodplains. They are increasingly recognized for the important services that they provide to both the environment and human society such as wildlife and fish production, nutrient filtering, and carbon sequestration.
A combination of low oxygen levels and dense plant canopies present particular challenges for organisms living in this aquatic habitat. This concise textbook discusses the universal environmental and biological features of wetland habitats, with an emphasis on wetland plants and animals and their adaptations. It also describes the functional features of wetlands--primary production, litter decomposition, food webs, and nutrient cycling--and their significance locally and globally. The future of wetlands is examined, including the potential threats of global climate change and invasive species, as well as their restoration and creation.
New to the second edition:
- Builds on the reputation of the first edition, providing a fully revised and comprehensive successor
- Includes new chapters on global climate change, invasive species, and restoration and habitat creation
- All other chapters are updated to incorporate a decade of new research
Review from the first edition:
"van der Valk has provided us with a great, well-balanced, educational book that deals with a very complex ecosystem. It will certainly inspire future readers to delve further into the intricacies of wetland ecosystems and motivate them to be more observant in the field."
- Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, June 2006
2: Water and soil
3: Microorganisms and invertebrates
4: Wetland plants and animals
5: Spatial and temporal patterns
6: Wetland functions
7: Invasive species
8: Restoration and creation
9: Global climate change
10: The value and future of wetlands
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Dr. Arnold van der Valk is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. He has done research on a variety of wetlands in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. His primary research interests are the dynamics of wetland vegetation, wetlands as nutrients sinks, and landscape differentiation within wetlands. He has been teaching courses wetland ecology for over 30 years.