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Wetlands – swamp, marsh, bayou, tundra and bog – are places that are rarely visited and often misunderstood but they have, in fact, conspicuous roles in the physical, biological and cultural geography of the world. They are intrinsically beautiful environments where one may see the natural and essential values in the interaction of water, soil, vegetation, wildlife, and humans. Wetlands occur at the confluence of unique terrestrial, hydrological and climatic conditions that give rise to some of the most biodiverse regions of the world. They also play vital roles in the cycling and storage of key nutrients, materials and energy through the Earth s system.
A complete study of wetland environments requires the assessment of their physical and biological attributes, properties and functions of these ecosystems, and the economic, political and social aspects that mediate their use globally. A systems approach is taken throughout Wetland Environments: A Global Perspective which emphasizes the interactions between these elements of wetland ecosystems. Moreover, selected case studies from across the world are used to illustrate wetland characteristics and circumstances.
Wetland Environments: A Global Perspective is intended to foster a greater awareness and appreciation of wetlands, promote a culture of conservation and wise management, and spread the knowledge that wetlands are important, indeed crucial, elements of the global environment. Our attempts to understand, manage and enhance wetlands in the twenty-first century are part of the larger effort to maintain a sustainable Earth.
James S. Aber: Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Kansas. Wide-ranging international experience in northern and central Europe, North and South America involving glaciation, wetlands, tectonics, and remote sensing. Firooza Pavri: Ph.D. in Geography from Ohio State University. Research experience in South Asia and North America with an interest in society-environment interactions, landscape change, environmental policy, and remote sensing. Susan W. Aber: Ph.D in Library and Information Management from Emporia State University, Kansas. International experience across Europe, southeastern Asia and North America. Special interest in gemstones, particularly amber and pearls.