Portal:Wetlands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1310

Wetlands Portal

Introduction

A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Wetlands occur naturally on every continent except Antarctica, the largest including the Amazon River basin, the West Siberian Plain, and the Pantanal in South America. The water found in wetlands can be freshwater, brackish, or saltwater. The main wetland types include swamps, marshes, bogs, and fens; and sub-types include mangrove, carr, pocosin, and varzea.

The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment determined that environmental degradation is more prominent within wetland systems than any other ecosystem on Earth. International conservation efforts are being used in conjunction with the development of rapid assessment tools to inform people about wetland issues.

Constructed wetlands can be used to treat municipal and industrial wastewater as well as stormwater runoff and they also play a role in water-sensitive urban design.

Selected article

Sacramento Delta at flood stage, early 2009
Sacramento Delta at flood stage, early 2009
A river delta is a landform that forms from deposition of sediment carried by a river as the flow leaves its mouth and enters slower-moving or standing water. This occurs where a river enters an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, or (more rarely) another river that cannot transport away the supplied sediment.

River deltas form when a river carrying sediment reaches either (1) a body of standing water, such as a lake, ocean, or reservoir, (2) another river that cannot remove the sediment quickly enough to stop delta formation, or (3) an inland region where the water spreads out and deposits sediments. The tidal currents also cannot be too strong, as sediment would wash out into the water body faster than the river deposits it. Of course, the river must carry enough sediment to layer into deltas over time. The river's velocity decreases rapidly, causing it to deposit the majority, if not all, of its load. This alluvium builds up to form the river delta. When the flow enters the standing water, it is no longer confined to its channel and expands in width. This flow expansion results in a decrease in the flow velocity, which diminishes the ability of the flow to transport sediment. As a result, sediment drops out of the flow and deposits. Over time, this single channel builds a deltaic lobe (such as the bird's-foot of the Mississippi or Ural river deltas), pushing its mouth into the standing water. As the deltaic lobe advances, the gradient of the river channel becomes lower because the river channel is longer but has the same change in elevation (see slope). (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various wetland-related articles on Wikipedia.

Law

Selected picture

Near Maroon Lake, Colorado
Credit: Sayamindu Dasgupta from Cambridge, MA, United States.
Near Maroon Lake, Colorado.

Did you know...

that 40% of American migrating waterfowl use the Mississippi Flyway?
... that 40% of American migrating waterfowl use the Mississippi Flyway?

(Pictured left: North American Waterfowl flyways map.)

Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

Categories

Related portals

Organizations

Topics

Pen & Earth

Things you can do

  • Create articles: There are many articles that have yet to be started... Pick your favorite and start researching!
  • Find photos for articles: Many wetlands–related articles would be substantially better with the addition of one or more photographs. Feel free to take your own and upload them, or find ones with the appropriate licenses and upload them here!
  • Categorize articles: Figure out what categories to add to each article so that others can find them more easily.
  • Expand articles: There are many wetland stubs which could use extensive updates and development.
  • Find sources: Many of our articles are poorly sourced and could use much better citations.
  • Wikify: Add {{Portal|Wetlands}} to the See also sections of Wetlands-related articles.

WikiProjects

Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals