Authoritative collection of papers on the world's leading wetlands - a must for all those who study these vital but rapidly shrinking natural areas.
During the past century approximately fifty percent of the world's wetlands have been destroyed, largely due to human activities. Increased human population has lead to shrinkage of wetland areas, and data show that as they shrink, their important functions decline. Reduced wetland area causes more flooding in Spring, less available water during drought, greater risk of water pollution, and less food production and reduced carbon storage. Much of the remaining pristine wetland systems are found in the world's largest wetlands, and yet these areas have received surprisingly little scientific research or attention. This volume presents the views of leading experts on each of the world's largest wetland systems. Here, this international team of authors share their understanding of the ecological dynamics of large wetlands and their significance, and emphasise their need of conservation.
1. Introduction: big is beautiful P. A. Keddy and L. H. Fraser; 2. The West Siberian lowland peatland ecosystems: importance for biodiversity protection and carbon accumulation A. I. Solomeshch; 3. Amazonian wetlands Wolfgang J. Junk and Maria Teresa Fernandez Piedade; 4. The Hudson Bay lowland: a unique wetland legacy Kenneth F. Abraham; 5. The Pantanal Cleber J. R. Alho; 6. The Mackenzie River Basin wetland complex Dale H. Vitt, Linda A. Halsey and Barbara J. Nicholson; 7. Swamps of the Cuvette Centrale Congolaise Daniel Campbell; 8. Characterisation, degradation, and restoration of the wetlands of the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain Gary P. Shaffer, James G. Gosselink, and Susanne S. Hoeppner; 9. River Nile wetlands: an ecological perspective Irina Springuel and Osman Ali; 10. African wetlands in a semi arid climate: the Chad basin as an example Jacques Lemoalle; 11. Peat accumulating wetlands of southern South America: extent, biodiversity, conservation, threats and opportunities Mary T. Kalin Arroyo, Maritza Mihoj, Patricio Pliscoff, and Manuel Arroyo-Kalin; 12. Prairie potholes of North America Arnold G. van der Valk; 13. The future of large wetland systems: a global perspective Lauchlan H. Fraser and Paul Keddy.
Dr Lauchlan H. Fraser was recently appointed the Canada Research Chair in Community and Ecosystem Ecology at the University College of the Cariboo. He has published over twenty-five scholarly papers and is on the editorial boards of Applied Vegetation Science and the Ohio Journal of Science. Dr Fraser's research group examines the processes that organize plant communities and the functional consequences of different emergent patterns on ecosystem functions. His lab focuses on ecosystems that are among those most affected by anthropogenic and natural disturbance, namely freshwater wetlands and temperate grasslands. Professor Paul A. Keddy holds the Edward G. Schlieder Endowed Chair for Environmental Studies. Over his career Keddy has published more than a hundred scholarly papers on plant ecology and wetlands, as well as serving organizations including NSF, NSERC, the World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy. He has been recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Ecology and the Environment. His current research examines the environmental factors that control wetlands, and how these factors can be manipulated to maintain and restore biological diversity.
'This material should be mainstream reading for ecology and biogeography modules; specialists and generalists will find it illuminating. Well done the editors and contributors!' Biologist