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Essays In Wetland Ecosystems

Wetland Ecosystem Essay

1. Introduction
Wetland ecosystem is one of the most productive ecosystems on this planet delivering massive goods and services to human society. However, due to poor awareness of their values and underestimation of their contribution, many wetlands have been converted to farmland or urban areas, or influenced by pollution due to agricultural and industrial activities. Consequentially wetland ecosystems have severely declined and degraded globally during the past decades. In order to restore and protect wetlands, hence ensure a sustainable supply of wetland goods and services, it is important to recognize their values. Vital to this is the development of valuation methods that explicitly link wetland values, the capital base of the ecosystem, to the design of policies (Pearce and Atkinson, 1993; Dasgupta and Mäler, 2000; Arrow et al, 2004; Maler et al, 2008; Dasgupta, 2010).
For a typical wetland ecosystem, its values can be accounted in terms of the populations of its species, fish harvested per day, the amount of carbon stored per year, or the annual number of recreational visits. These are generally categorised as values from wetland production, regulating or cultural services (MA, 2005). Proper and accurate estimation of these values enables comparative analysis of intervention practices and therefore contributes to the improvement of the design of policies (Barbier, 1993; Barbier et al., 1997; Turner et al, 2000). Quality is a critical factor in determining the values of wetlands. A healthy and functioning wetland may provide rich ecosystem services (Zedler and Kercher, 2005; Maltby, 2009).
The quantity of the wetland valuation practice has increased in relatively recent years. In the review by Heimlich et al. (1998), 33 studies over the last 26 years were listed and in Brander et al. (2009) there are more than 50 valuation studies for European inland wetlands. Based on primary studies of wetland valuation, meta-analysis has been adopted to explore the commonalities through inter-study comparisons, to find the general relationship between wetland values and its influential factors and to estimate wetland values of non-value areas. Examples include Brouwer et al. (1999), Woodward and Sui (2002), Brander et al. (2006), Brander et al. (2009), Ghermandi et al. (2010), etc.
However, the wetland quality factor has been ignored in most of primary studies and subsequently in the meta-analyses based on the primary studies. It is often the case that the provision of goods and services is indicated in a meta-analysis merely by binary variables, and that quality is not captured at all (Brander et al., 2007). This limitation may lead to generalisation errors and therefore to benefit transfer errors, which would probably lead to error in policy making for wetland sustainable development.
This paper is aimed at finding a more accurate and valid meta-regression function by introducing the wetland quality factor, a critical yet frequently missed...

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The Florida Everglades ? A Wetlands Ecosystem Essay

2066 Words9 Pages

The Florida Everglades — A Wetlands Ecosystem

The Everglades, a vast wetlands ecosystem made up of marshes and swamps, begins at Lake Okeechobee, a large lake in the center of Florida, and ends in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay. It is nearly 50 miles across and 110 miles long (Hinrichsen), and when viewed from the air, appears to be miles and miles of shallow water flowing through thick mats of grass. This perception has earned it the name “River of Grass”. Although it does flow like a river, the flow is so incredibly slow that, from a distance, it doesn’t seem to move at all.

All of the wildlife in the Everglades is totally dependent on the cycling of water. One example of this dependence is the feeding relationship between the…show more content…

As it thrashes its body from side to side, it creates a small hole filled with water. Plant matter and mud piled up around the edges of the hole create dry ground on which other plants eventually grow. After many years, grass, trees, and other plants surround these "gator holes" like fences. Gator holes are important to other species as well. As the water becomes scarce during the dry season, many animals search for food and remaining pockets of water. The gator holes attract crayfish, frogs, turtles, fish, and other aquatic species, all seeking refuge in the deeper waters of the gator holes. Muskrats, otters, deer, and raccoons, as well as a wide variety of beautiful birds, such as ibises, egrets, and herons, visit these sanctuaries to feed on the small animals that can be found there. Because alligators and the watery hollows they make play such an important role in the Everglades ecosystem, they are considered to be a keystone species since many other species depend upon them for their survival. This has earned them the nickname "keepers of the glades."

Due to constantly changing water levels, ecosystems like the Everglades can be very unpredictable places. Since the 1800s, people have tried to control the Everglades to prevent flooding (Blake). Large canals were built to send the water into the ocean and away from the Everglades. The land along the canals dried up and became more

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