Special Issue "Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 12393

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Richard C. Smardon
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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Studies and Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, 416 Marshall Hall, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
Interests: landscape planning; sustainability; water resource management; urban ecosystems
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Special Issue Information

The purpose of this Special Issue is to celebrate 25 years of “World Wetlands Day”. There is no other ecosystem that has its very own Ramsar Convention or such a challenge impacting ecosystem sustainability. Papers are encouraged that provide an overview of wetland status and function within different regions of the world. Of special interest are papers that address wetland ecosystem and human health and wellbeing (MEA 2000), as well as key international wetland management challenges and actors (Smardon 2009). A “Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands” has even been proposed (Davis et al. 2020); therefore, we need innovative solutions for wetland management and maintenance for this Special Issue.

Topics of interest for this Special Issue include the following: World Wetlands Day; coastal and inland wetlands status; wetland functions and values; Ramsar Convention; wetland ecology; stress; restoration and change over time

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Tram Chim Nature Reserve Vietnam—A Ramsar wetland Photo by Thang Vo

February 2nd of each year since 1997 Worlds Wetlands Day has been celebrated to raise awareness about the vital role that wetlands play for the earth’s ecosystems, as well as the benefits provided to humanity. This day, February 2nd also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The theme of World Wetlands Day 2021 focuses on inland wetlands as a source of freshwater and so encourages actions to restore and stop their loss. Sub-themes for 2021 include wetlands as a water source, and maintaining water quality for usage.

Past World Wetland Days themes are listed below:

2020 Wetlands and Biodiversity

2019 Wetlands and Climate Change

2018 Wetlands Making Cities Livable

2017 Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction

2016 Wetlands for Sustainable Livelihoods

2015 Wetlands for Our Future Benefits

2014 Wetlands and Agriculture

2013 International Year of Water Cooperation

2012 Wetlands and Tourism

2011 Wetlands and Forests

2010 Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change

2009 River Basins and Their Management

2008 Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People

2007 Fish for Tomorrow

2006 Livelihoods at Risk

2005 There’s Wealth in Wetland Diversity—Don’t Lose It!

2004 From the Mountains to the Sea – Wetlands at Work for Us

2003 No Wetlands—No Water!

2002 Wetlands: Water, Life and Culture

2001 Wetland World—A World to Discover!

2000 Celebrating our Wetlands of International Importance

1999 People and Wetlands—The Vital Link

1998 Water for Wetlands, Wetlands for Water

1997 First Worlds Wetlands Day

Davis G.T., Finlayson C. M., Pritchard D.E., Davidson N. C., Gardner R.C. Moomaw W.R., Okuno E., Whitacre J.C. 2020. Towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands. Marine and Freshwater Research https://doi.org/10.1071/MF20219

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) 2000. Ecosystem and Human Well-Being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis. World Resources Institute, Wash DC.

Smardon R.C. 2009. Sustaining the Worlds Wetlands: Setting policy and Resolving Conflict. Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-0-387-49429-6

Prof. Dr. Richard Smardon
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Worlds Wetlands Day
  • coastal and inland wetlands
  • wetlands function and value
  • Ramsar Convention
  • wetland ecology and stress
  • retention
  • climate change
  • restoration
  • change over time

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Effects of Tidal Flat Reclamation on the Stability of the Coastal Area in the Jiangsu Province, China, from the Perspective of Landscape Structure
Land 2022, 11(3), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030421 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 680
Abstract
As one of the most important wetland systems, coastal wetlands play an important role in conserving water, regulating the climate and protecting biodiversity. However, due to large-scale and long-term tidal flat reclamations, the landscape structure and function of the coastal wetlands have been [...] Read more.
As one of the most important wetland systems, coastal wetlands play an important role in conserving water, regulating the climate and protecting biodiversity. However, due to large-scale and long-term tidal flat reclamations, the landscape structure and function of the coastal wetlands have been greatly affected. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the spatio-temporal characteristics of the impact of tidal flat reclamation on regional ecology and to quantitatively assess the relationships between them. In this study based on long-term, multiperiod remote sensing data, the main spatio-temporal variation characteristics of stability, and the relationship between stability and tidal flat reclamation were analyzed with regard to the influence scope of tidal flat reclamation. The results showed that a substantial decrease in natural wetlands in 1980, mainly caused by tidal flat reclamation, was discovered in the Jiangsu coastal area, and the influence scope of tidal flat reclamation on regional landscape ecology was roughly 30 km. In the affected area, the overall stability had a tendency to improve, but the stability change characteristics between reclamation area and non-reclamation area varied greatly. Especially in the reclamation area, the stability of construction wetlands and non-wetlands deteriorated. Spatially, the stability outside the reclamation area had the characteristics of first deteriorating and then improving as the distance from the reclamation area increased. Under the influence of tidal flat reclamation, the influence of different use types of TFR on stability was not completely consistent, and the influence of the same uses type of tidal flat reclamation on different landscapes was also different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Typing Colonial Perceptions of Carrum Carrum Swamp: The Expected and the Surprising
Land 2022, 11(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020311 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Carrum Carrum Swamp was a vast wetland to the south-east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, at the time that it was first sighted by white colonists in 1803. By 1878, the colonists had commenced converting the swamp to dry land for agricultural and horticultural [...] Read more.
Carrum Carrum Swamp was a vast wetland to the south-east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, at the time that it was first sighted by white colonists in 1803. By 1878, the colonists had commenced converting the swamp to dry land for agricultural and horticultural pursuits, and 100 years later it was predominantly residential land. Shifting values in the 1970s led to environmental concerns about water quality in local creeks and Port Phillip Bay and subsequent residential development on the former swamp included the construction of stormwater treatment wetlands. Perceptions of wetlands are now diverse, including positive perceptions that support their presence in urban settings. In contrast, traditionally, wetlands have been perceived negatively, as waste lands, leading to their drainage. Nevertheless, alternative, perhaps positive, perceptions could have existed, only to be overwhelmed by the negative perceptions driving drainage. Understanding the full range of past perceptions is important to ensure that the historical record is correct and to provide historical context to contemporary perceptions of wetlands. It will better equip natural resource managers and designers and managers of constructed wetlands in urban locations to ensure that wetlands are healthy, functioning and appreciated by their local and wider communities. Thus, the perceptions of Carrum Carrum Swamp by colonists from 1803 to 1878 were examined through qualitative content analysis of historical documents, and a typology was developed. Seven different perceptions were identified: scientific, premodern, exploitative, romantic, aesthetic, medico-mythic and ecological. Most could be traced to the colonists’ predominantly British heritage, but one perception arose in the colony in response to the specific environmental conditions that the colonists encountered. This ecological perception valued wetlands as places of predictable water supply in a land of unpredictable rainfall. It recognised wetlands as part of a broader hydrological system, with influences on the local climate. Its proponents promoted the need for a different approach to the management of wetlands than in Britain and Europe. Nevertheless, a dominant exploitative perception prevailed, leading to the drainage of Carrum Carrum Swamp. The typology developed in this study will be useful for exploring perceptions of other wetlands, both colonial and contemporary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
The Historical Development of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment
Land 2022, 11(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020174 - 21 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment are engineered systems that are designed and operated in order to use all natural processes involved in the removal of pollutants from wastewaters. CWs are designed to take advantage of many of the same processes that occur [...] Read more.
Constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment are engineered systems that are designed and operated in order to use all natural processes involved in the removal of pollutants from wastewaters. CWs are designed to take advantage of many of the same processes that occur in natural wetlands, but do so within a more controlled environment. The basic classification is based on the presence/absence of wastewater on the wetland surface. The subsurface flow of CWs can be classified according to the direction of the flow to horizontal and vertical. The combination of various types of CWs is called hybrid CW. The CWs technology began in the 1950s in Germany, but the major extension across the world occurred during the 1990s and early 2000s. The early CWs in Germany were designed as hybrid CWs; however, during the 1970s and 1980s, horizontal subsurface flow CWs were mostly designed. The stricter limits for nitrogen, and especially ammonia, applied in Europe during the 1990s, brought more attention to vertical subsurface flow and hybrid systems. Constructed wetlands have been used to treat various types of wastewater, including sewage, industrial and agricultural wastewaters, various drainage and runoff waters and landfill leachate. Recently, more attention has also been paid to constructed treatment wetlands as part of a circular economy in the urban environments: it is clear that CWs are a good fit for the new concept of sponge cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Millennial-Scale Carbon Storage in Natural Pine Forests of the North Carolina Lower Coastal Plain: Effects of Artificial Drainage in a Time of Rapid Sea Level Rise
Land 2021, 10(12), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121294 - 25 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Coastal forested wetlands provide important ecosystem services along the southeastern region of the United States, but are threatened by anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Here, we examined the species composition, mortality, aboveground biomass, and carbon content of vegetation and soils in natural pine forests [...] Read more.
Coastal forested wetlands provide important ecosystem services along the southeastern region of the United States, but are threatened by anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Here, we examined the species composition, mortality, aboveground biomass, and carbon content of vegetation and soils in natural pine forests of the lower coastal plain in eastern North Carolina, USA. We compared a forest clearly in decline (termed “ghost forest”) adjacent to a roadside canal that had been installed as drainage for a road next to an adjacent forest subject to “natural” hydrology, unaltered by human modification (termed “healthy forest”). We also assessed how soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation changed over time using 14C radiocarbon dating of wood sampled at different depths within the peat profile. Our results showed that the ghost forest had a higher tree density at 687 trees ha−1, and was dominated by swamp bays (Persea palustric), compared to the healthy forest, which had 265 trees ha−1 dominated by pond pine (Pinus serotina Michx). Overstory tree mortality of the ghost forest was nearly ten times greater than the healthy forest (p < 0.05), which actually contributed to higher total aboveground biomass (55.9 ± 12.6 Mg C ha−1 vs. 27.9 ± 8.7 Mg ha−1 in healthy forest), as the dead standing tree biomass (snags) added to that of an encroaching woody shrub layer during ecosystem transition. Therefore, the total aboveground C content of the ghost forest, 33.98 ± 14.8 Mg C ha−1, was higher than the healthy forest, 24.7 ± 5.2 Mg C ha−1 (p < 0.05). The total SOC stock down to a 2.3 m depth in the ghost forest was 824.1 ± 46.2 Mg C ha−1, while that of the healthy forest was 749.0 ± 170.5 Mg C ha−1 (p > 0.05). Carbon dating of organic sediments indicated that, as the sample age approaches modern times (surface layer year 2015), the organic soil accumulation rate (1.11 to 1.13 mm year−1) is unable to keep pace with the estimated rate of recent sea level rise (2.1 to 2.4 mm year−1), suggesting a causative relationship with the ecosystem transition occurring at the site. Increasing hydrologic stress over recent decades appears to have been a major driver of ecosystem transition, that is, ghost forest formation and woody shrub encroachment, as indicated by the far higher overstory tree mortality adjacent to the drainage ditch, which allows the inland propagation of hydrologic/salinity forcing due to SLR and extreme storms. Our study documents C accumulation in a coastal wetland over the past two millennia, which is now threatened due to the recent increase in the rate of SLR exceeding the natural peat accumulation rate, causing an ecosystem transition with unknown consequences for the stored C; however, much of it will eventually be returned to the atmosphere. More studies are needed to determine the causes and consequences of coastal ecosystem transition to inform the modeling of future coastal wetland responses to environmental change and the estimation of regional terrestrial C stocks and flux. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Using Time-Series Remote Sensing Images in Monitoring the Spatial–Temporal Dynamics of LULC in the Msimbazi Basin, Tanzania
Land 2021, 10(11), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111139 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 675
Abstract
The basins containing rivers and wetlands are very significant to the surrounding dwellers in various ways, altogether aiming at boosting the economy for most developing countries. Unfortunately, the benefits are frequently overlooked and lead to basin mismanagement and degradation posed by increasing population. [...] Read more.
The basins containing rivers and wetlands are very significant to the surrounding dwellers in various ways, altogether aiming at boosting the economy for most developing countries. Unfortunately, the benefits are frequently overlooked and lead to basin mismanagement and degradation posed by increasing population. This study used population and satellite data to quantify the extent of land-use and land-cover changes along the Msimbazi valley between 1990 and 2019. Geographic information system and remote sensing techniques were used in the analysis and processing of remotely sensed images acquired in 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2019. The results reveal that the dominant area is built-up land that occupied 39.3% of the total in 1990 and gradually increased to 42.6% in 2000, 54.1% in 2010 and 65.5% in 2019. Moreover, forest and agriculture that in 1990 had been the second and third largest in size, respectively, had been decreasing throughout the entire period. The population increase had been threatening wetland vegetation during the initial 10 years (1990 to 2000); however, the wetland vegetation showed subsequent improvement after the implementation of some government initiatives. Other land cover, such as bush land and grassland, showed minority status with inconsistent changes in either increase or decrease. These findings imply that the Msimbazi Basin suffers much from uncoordinated human activities that consequently degrade its fertility. This degradation can be observed as well from the population distribution maps that show that a huge stress is being exerted along the riverine due to population growth and urbanization. The study also highlights that a lack of intensive management plans that are supported by clear legal commitments for optimal and sustainable resource utilization contributes to wetland deterioration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Changes in Ecosystem Service Value in the 1 km Lakeshore Zone of Poyang Lake from 1980 to 2020
Land 2021, 10(9), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090951 - 08 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
Poyang Lake is a typical lake in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and is the largest freshwater lake in China. The habitat quality of Poyang Lake has been declining in recent years, leading to a series of ecological problems. [...] Read more.
Poyang Lake is a typical lake in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and is the largest freshwater lake in China. The habitat quality of Poyang Lake has been declining in recent years, leading to a series of ecological problems. An ecological risk evaluation, based on land use, is important in order to promote a coordinated development of land use and the ecological environment. In this paper, land use data from the Poyang Lake basin in the corresponding years are interpreted based on the images from the Landsat satellite mission in seven periods from 1980 to 2020. The lake surface and the 1 km lakeshore zone of Poyang Lake are extracted based on the interpreted land use data. Finally, the ecological service value per unit area of the area is measured by combining it with the Chinese terrestrial ecosystem service value equivalent table, and then with the value of each ecological factor and the value of the changes to land use type. The research results show that: (1) from 1980 to 2000, the lake area of Poyang Lake had an overall decreasing trend (the area slightly increased from 1980 to 1990); from 2000 to 2020, the lake area of Poyang Lake gradually increased (the area slightly decreased from 2015 to 2020). (2) The farmland, forest, grassland and desert areas gradually increased and the wetlands gradually decreased over 40 years; the area of the water body gradually increased from 1980 to 2010, and gradually decreased from 2010 to 2020. (3) The ecosystem service value of the lakeshore zone of Poyang Lake fluctuated around 15,000 × 106 Yuan from year to year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Understanding Farmers’ Intention towards the Management and Conservation of Wetlands
Land 2021, 10(8), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080860 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The aim of the present research was to analyze the farmers’ intention towards participation in the management and conservation of wetlands through the lens of the extended theory of planned behavior (TPB). To do this, a cross-sectional survey of Iranian farmers was carried [...] Read more.
The aim of the present research was to analyze the farmers’ intention towards participation in the management and conservation of wetlands through the lens of the extended theory of planned behavior (TPB). To do this, a cross-sectional survey of Iranian farmers was carried out. To select the samples, a multi-stage random sampling process with a proportional assignment was employed. The research instrument was a researcher-made questionnaire whose validity and reliability were verified using various quantitative and qualitative indicators. The results of the extended TPB using structural equation modeling showed that four variables, namely moral norms of participation in management and conservation (MNPMC), attitude towards participation in management and conservation (APMC), subjective norms towards participation in management and conservation (SNPMC), and self-concept about participation in management and conservation (SCPMC) had positive and significant impacts on intention towards participation in management and conservation (IPMC). The results also revealed that that entering MNPMC and SCPMC into TPB could increase its explanatory power. Also, the fit indicators supported the extended TPB. From a practical point of view, the present study provides justifications and insights for the use of MNPMC, APMC, SNPMC, and SCPMC in policies and programs intended to encourage farmers and local communities to participate in wetlands management and conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Effects of Grazer Exclusion on Carbon Cycling in Created Freshwater Wetlands
Land 2021, 10(8), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080805 - 31 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Wetland ecosystems play a significant role in the global carbon cycle, and yet are increasingly threatened by human development and climate change. The continued loss of intact freshwater wetlands heightens the need for effective wetland creation and restoration. However, wetland structure and function [...] Read more.
Wetland ecosystems play a significant role in the global carbon cycle, and yet are increasingly threatened by human development and climate change. The continued loss of intact freshwater wetlands heightens the need for effective wetland creation and restoration. However, wetland structure and function are controlled by interacting abiotic and biotic factors, complicating efforts to replace ecosystem services associated with natural wetlands and making ecologically-driven management imperative. Increasing waterfowl populations pose a threat to the development and persistence of created wetlands, largely through intensive grazing that can shift vegetation community structure or limit desired plant establishment. This study capitalized on a long-term herbivore exclusion experiment to evaluate how herbivore management impacts carbon cycling and storage in a created wetland in Western New York, USA. Vegetation, above- and belowground biomass, soil carbon, carbon gas fluxes and decomposition rates were evaluated in control plots with free access by large grazers and in plots where grazers had been excluded for four years. Waterfowl were the dominant herbivore at the site. Grazing reduced peak growing season aboveground biomass by over 55%, and during the summer, gross primary productivity doubled in grazer exclusion plots. The shift in plant productivity led to a 34% increase in soil carbon after exclusion of grazers for five growing seasons, but no change in belowground biomass. Our results suggest that grazers may inhibit the development of soil carbon pools during the first decade following wetland creation, reducing the carbon sequestration potential and precluding functional equivalence with natural wetlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Communication
Microbial Respiration and Enzyme Activity Downstream from a Phosphorus Source in the Everglades, Florida, USA
Land 2021, 10(7), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070696 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Northeast Shark River Slough (NESS), lying at the northeastern perimeter of Everglades National Park (ENP), Florida, USA, has been subjected to years of hydrologic modifications. Construction of the Tamiami Trail (US 41) in 1928 connected the east and west coasts of SE Florida [...] Read more.
Northeast Shark River Slough (NESS), lying at the northeastern perimeter of Everglades National Park (ENP), Florida, USA, has been subjected to years of hydrologic modifications. Construction of the Tamiami Trail (US 41) in 1928 connected the east and west coasts of SE Florida and essentially created a hydrological barrier to southern sheet flow into ENP. Recently, a series of bridges were constructed to elevate a portion of Tamiami Trail, allow more water to flow under the bridges, and attempt to restore the ecological balance in the NESS and ENP. This project was conducted to determine aspects of soil physiochemistry and microbial dynamics in the NESS. We evaluated microbial respiration and enzyme assays as indicators of nutrient dynamics in NESS soils. Soil cores were collected from sites at certain distances from the inflow (near canal, NC (0–150 m); midway, M (150–600 m); and far from canal, FC (600–1200 m)). Soil slurries were incubated and assayed for CO2 emission and β-glucoside (MUFC) or phosphatase (MUFP) activity in concert with physicochemical analysis. Significantly higher TP contents at NC (2.45 times) and M (1.52 times) sites than FC sites indicated an uneven P distribution downstream from the source canal. The highest soil organic matter content (84%) contents were observed at M sites, which was due to higher vegetation biomass observed at those sites. Consequently, CO2 efflux was greater at M sites (average 2.72 µmoles g dw−1 h−1) than the other two sites. We also found that amendments of glucose increased CO2 efflux from all soils, whereas the addition of phosphorus did not. The results indicate that microbial respiration downstream of inflows in the NESS is not limited by P, but more so by the availability of labile C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Article
Surface Water Quality Differs between Functionally Similar Restored and Natural Wetlands of the Saint Lawrence River Valley in New York
Land 2021, 10(7), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070676 - 27 Jun 2021
Viewed by 828
Abstract
We tested the hypothesis that upland wetland restorations provide the same quality of wetland, in terms of ecosystem services and biodiversity, as natural wetlands in the St. Lawrence River Valley. Water quality (pH, alkalinity, colored dissolved organic matter, phytoplankton community composition, chlorophyll-a, fecal [...] Read more.
We tested the hypothesis that upland wetland restorations provide the same quality of wetland, in terms of ecosystem services and biodiversity, as natural wetlands in the St. Lawrence River Valley. Water quality (pH, alkalinity, colored dissolved organic matter, phytoplankton community composition, chlorophyll-a, fecal coliform, total phosphorus, dissolved nitrate, turbidity, specific conductivity) in 17 natural and 45 restored wetlands was compared to determine whether wetland restoration provided similar physicochemical conditions as natural wetlands in the Saint Lawrence River Valley of northeastern New York State. Natural wetlands were more acidic, which was hypothesized to result from the avoidance of naturally acidic regions by farmers seeking to drain wetlands for crop and pasture use. Natural wetlands had significantly greater fecal coliform concentrations. Restored wetlands had significantly greater specific conductivity and related ions, and this is attributed to the creation of wetlands upon marine clay deposits. Other water quality indicators did not differ between restored and natural wetlands. These findings confirm other research at these same wetlands showing no substantial differences between restored and natural wetlands in major biotic indicators. Thus, we conclude that wetland restoration does result in wetlands that are functionally the same as the natural wetlands they were designed to replicate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Review

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Review
Factors Affecting Wetland Loss: A Review
Land 2022, 11(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030434 - 17 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Despite occupying an area no greater than 8% of the earth’s surface, natural wetland ecosystems fulfill multiple ecological functions: 1. Soil formation and stabilization support, 2. Food, water, and plant biomass supply, 3. Cultural/recreational services, landscape, and ecological tourism, 4. Climate regulation, and [...] Read more.
Despite occupying an area no greater than 8% of the earth’s surface, natural wetland ecosystems fulfill multiple ecological functions: 1. Soil formation and stabilization support, 2. Food, water, and plant biomass supply, 3. Cultural/recreational services, landscape, and ecological tourism, 4. Climate regulation, and 5. Carbon sequestration; with the last one being its most important function. They are subject to direct and indirect incident factors that affect plant productivity and the sequestration of carbon from the soil. Thus, the objective of this review was to identify the incident factors in the loss of area and carbon sequestration in marine, coastal, and continental wetlands that have had an impact on climate change in the last 14 years, globally. The methodology consisted of conducting a literature review in international databases, analyzing a sample of 134 research studies from 37 countries, organized in tables and figures supported by descriptive statistics and content analysis. Global results indicate that agriculture (25%), urbanization (16.8%), aquaculture (10.7%), and industry (7.6%) are incident factors that promote wetlands effective loss affecting continental wetlands more than coastal and marine ones. Regarding carbon sequestration, this is reduced by vegetation loss since GHG emissions raise because the soil is exposed to sun rays, increasing surface temperature and oxidation, and raising organic matter decomposition and the eutrophication phenomenon caused by the previous incident factors that generate wastewater rich in nutrients in their different activities, thus creating biomass and plant growth imbalances, either at the foliage or root levels and altering the accumulation of organic matter and carbon. It is possible to affirm in conclusion that the most affected types of wetlands are: mangroves (25.7%), lagoons (19.11%), and marine waters (11.7%). Furthermore, it was identified that agriculture has a greater incidence in the loss of wetlands, followed by urbanization and industry in a lower percentage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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Other

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Perspective
Obligations of Researchers and Managers to Respect Wetlands: Practical Solutions to Minimizing Field Monitoring Impacts
Land 2022, 11(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040481 - 26 Mar 2022
Viewed by 941
Abstract
Research and field monitoring can disturb wetland integrity. Adoption of ethical field practices is needed to limit monitoring induced stressors such as trampling, non-native seed and invertebrate dispersal, and disease and fungal spread. We identify a linear pathway of deterioration highlighting stressors that [...] Read more.
Research and field monitoring can disturb wetland integrity. Adoption of ethical field practices is needed to limit monitoring induced stressors such as trampling, non-native seed and invertebrate dispersal, and disease and fungal spread. We identify a linear pathway of deterioration highlighting stressors that can progress to cumulative impacts, consequences, and losses at the site scale. The first step to minimize disturbance is to assess and classify the current ecosystem quality. We present a tiered framework for wetland classification and link preventative measures to the wetland tier. Preventative measures are recommended at various intensities respective to the wetland tier, with higher tiered wetlands requiring more intense preventative measures. In addition, preventative measures vary by time of implementation (before, during, and after the wetland visit) to mitigate impacts at various temporal scales. The framework is designed to increase transparency of field monitoring impacts and to promote the adoption of preventative measures. Implementing preventative measures can build accountability and foster a greater appreciation for our roles as researchers and managers in protecting wetlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celebrating 25 Years of World Wetlands Day)
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