The World's Largest Wetlands: Ecology and Conservation

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"We recommend Fraser and Keddy's book as an information-rich introduction to the ecology of the world's largest wetlands...The world's largest wetlands are not getting any larger, and this compilation is a good first step toward identifying priority areas for large wetland valuation, protection, management, and restoration."
The Quarterly Review of Biology, Christin Frieswyk, Michael Healy and Joy Zedler, University of Wisconsin

"In my opinion, Fraser and Keddy have written a very welcome addition to the body of literature on wetland ecology. I recommend it to scientists and natural resource management specialists alike; it should inspire them to fill up their lists of projects, wherever they work in the world."
Martin Jean, Ecoscience

"I had high expectations of this book, and they have certainly been met. The editors succeed in presenting a 'clear snapshot' of the state of these large wetlands. The baseline information contained in this reference book will prove invaluable to researchers, managers, policy makers, and wetland practitioners 'to be.'"
Stacey Byers, Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521834049
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2005
  • Pages: 498
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

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.

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