The Four Types Of Wetlands Ecosystem

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Introduction

Wetlands are areas of marsh, peatlands, fen or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is standing or flowing, fresh, brackish or saline, including areas of marine water, the depth at which at low tide does not exceed six meters (Ramsar, 1971).They cover 6% of the world’s land surface (Ferrati et.al, 2005), 2% are lakes, 30% bogs, 26% fens, 20% swamps and 15% floodplains (Bergkamp & Orlando, 1999). Wetlands are composed of physical, biological, and chemical components such as water, soil, plants and animals. Wetlands exist in the transition zone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They are temporarily, seasonally and permanently inundated, with hydric soils. The plants and animals
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Due to their unique characteristics, they have been considered as natural assets that can deliver ecosystem services from local to regional scales (Moor et.al, 2015). Ecosystem services are the benefits that society obtains directly or indirectly from ecosystems. They are the processes that are utilised and valued by people. Bergkamp and Orlando (1999) grouped wetland functions into four types which are regulation, provision of habitats, provision of information and production.
According to Clarkson et.al (2013), wetlands have three important regulating services which are water quality improvement, flood control, and carbon management. Wetlands plants such as reedbeds are important regulators; they purify water by removing nutrients and other toxins from the water. Wetlands also purify water by storing nutrients and other pollutants in their soil and vegetation. The nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that wetlands reduce and remove are commonly associated with agricultural runoff and sewage. By reducing and removing these nutrients wetlands help in preventing them from reaching toxic levels in ground water that is used for drinking purposes. They also allow sediments to settle and accumulate, providing fresh and clean water for animals and
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Hughes (2000) documented that the impact of increased carbon dioxide concentrations, precipitation and temperature on physiology of the plants will affect developmental rates and metabolic processes such as photosynthesis and respiration and this will affect plant growth. Increased carbon dioxide levels increases the photosynthetic rate of some species e.g. C3 species and emergent macrophytes. These species respond to increased carbon dioxide with a decrease in stomatal conductance which would reduce transpiration rate. The reduction in transpiration could affect the position of the aerobic and anaerobic interface in wetland soils because respiration is an important pathway for water loss from wetlands (MacCarthy,

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