Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands

Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands

Darold P. Batzer
Rebecca R. Sharitz
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Pages: 581
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1ppkw9
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  • Book Info
    Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands
    Book Description:

    Designed as a textbook, this volume is an important, up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible survey in ecology of freshwater and estuarine wetlands. Prominent wetland scholars address the physical environment, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, soils, and hydrology of both freshwater and estuarine wetlands. Careful syntheses review how hydrology and chemistry constrain wetlands plants and animals. In addition, contributors document the strategies employed by plants, animals, and bacteria to cope with stress. Focusing on the ecology of key organisms, each chapter is relevant to wetland regulation and assessment, wetland restoration, how flood pulses control the ecology of most wetland complexes, and how human regulation of flood pulses threatens wetland biotic integrity. Ideal for the classroom, this book is a fundamental resource for anyone interested in the current state of our wetlands.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93289-0
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. List of Contributors
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  6. 1 ECOLOGY OF FRESHWATER AND ESTUARINE WETLANDS: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Darold P. Batzer and Rebecca R. Sharitz

    The study of wetland ecology can entail an issue that rarely needs consideration by terrestrial or aquatic ecologists, and that is the need to define the habitat. What exactly constitutes a wetland may not always be clear. Thus, it seems appropriate to begin by defining the wordwetland. The Oxford English Dictionary says, “Wetland (F. wet a. + land n.)—an area of land that is usually saturated with water, often a marsh or swamp.” While covering the basic pairing of the wordswet andland, this definition is rather ambiguous. Does “usually saturated” mean at least half of the...

  7. 2 WETLAND GEOMORPHOLOGY, SOILS, AND FORMATIVE PROCESSES
    (pp. 7-42)
    Randy K. Kolka and James A. Thompson

    The soil is where many of the hydrologic and biogeochemical processes that influence wetland function and ecology occur. A complete understanding of wetland formation, wetland ecology, and wetland management requires a basic understanding of soils, including soil properties, soil processes, and soil variability. In this chapter, we will discuss how soils and landscapes influence the local hydrologic cycle to lead to the development of wetland hydrology. We then will examine some fundamental soil properties and how they lead to and respond to the development of wetland hydrology. Finally, we will consider specific types of wetland ecosystems and discuss their general...

  8. 3 WETLAND HYDROLOGY
    (pp. 43-81)
    C. Rhett Jackson

    The commonly used phrase “wetland hydrology” should be considered shorthand for “hydrology, as it relates to wetlands,” as there is no special subdiscipline of hydrology for wetlands. The principles and processes of hydrology can be applied to uplands, wetlands, streams, lakes, and groundwater. This chapter presents basic principles of hydrology that can applied to understand and explain annual, seasonal, and daily water level dynamics (the hydropattern or hydroperiod) of wetlands and to illuminate physical and chemical water quality processes occurring in wetlands. The text assumes the reader has only a cursory knowledge of hydrology.

    The hydroperiod of a wetland is...

  9. 4 ABIOTIC CONSTRAINTS FOR WETLAND PLANTS AND ANIMALS
    (pp. 82-114)
    Irving A. Mendelssohn and Darold P. Batzer

    Wetland habitats can be stressful places for plants and animals to live, although most wetland organisms are well adapted to cope with the environmental challenges posed. The two most important abiotic factors influencing wetland biota are hydrology and the chemistry of soils and water. The extremely variable and unpredictable nature of hydrology and chemistry in wetlands can profoundly influence the structure and productivity of resident flora and fauna. In this chapter, we first address how hydrology constrains plant and animal populations, and discuss some of the ways biota have become adapted for life in hydrologically diverse wetlands. We couple our...

  10. 5 BIOGEOCHEMISTRY AND BACTERIAL ECOLOGY OF HYDROLOGICALLY DYNAMIC WETLANDS
    (pp. 115-176)
    Paul I. Boon

    I was fortunate to have spent my childhood in the Hawkesbury Sandstone region of New South Wales, just north of Sydney, Australia. The climate is warm temperate, the country characterized by rugged sandstone gorges and nutrient-poor soils, and the vegetation sclerophyllous and taxonomically diverse (Benson and Howell 1990). The many small streams and temporary pools in the valleys provided us with a fascinating diversion after school. Other than catching tadpoles and frogs, we were obsessed with two missions: to dam the streams to make the pools larger and more permanent, and to bolster their meager aquatic flora by introducing exotic...

  11. 6 DEVELOPMENT OF WETLAND PLANT COMMUNITIES
    (pp. 177-241)
    Rebecca R. Sharitz and Steven C. Pennings

    Plant communities in different types of wetlands vary greatly in species composition, species richness, and productivity. They are influenced to varying degrees by a long list of abiotic factors including hydrologic conditions, position on the landscape, substrate, fertility, climate, environmental stress, and disturbance, and also by a variety of biotic interactions including competition, facilitation, and herbivory. They range from highly productive herbaceous marshes dominated by a few robust perennial species to infertile but species-rich wet meadows; from boreal bogs and other peatlands with mosses and evergreen shrubs to tropical wet grasslands and palm savannas; from nutrient-poor wetland communities of isolated...

  12. 7 WETLAND ANIMAL ECOLOGY
    (pp. 242-284)
    Darold P. Batzer, Robert Cooper and Scott A. Wissinger

    The ecology of wetland animals has received much less research attention than the ecology of terrestrial, aquatic, or marine animals, particularly at the community and ecosystem level. As such, relatively little ecological theory has been developed in wetland systems, and the field of wetland animal ecology tends to adapt hypotheses generated in other ecosystems. This might make sense if wetlands were viewed as hybrids or ecotones between terrestrial and aquatic/marine ecosystems. However, wetlands are not simply transitional habitats, but have unique biotic characteristics unto themselves. Plant scientists have already come to this realization, and several wetland-specific paradigms have been developed...

  13. 8 WETLAND ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES
    (pp. 285-312)
    Robert G. Wetzel

    When we speak of wetlands, we are generally referring to the land-water interface of lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. As is noted throughout this book, great significant is often given to the boundaries of wetlands, usually for socioeconomic rather than scientific reasons. The shoreline of a lake or river, or the boundary of a wetland, is a dynamic physical boundary between the land and the water. In reality, many wetlands occur in areas of low physical elevational gradients where the physical shoreline of a lake or river and the functional boundary of the wetland are diffuse and always changing.

    The gentle,...

  14. 9 UNITED STATES WETLAND REGULATION AND POLICY
    (pp. 313-347)
    D. Eric Somerville and Bruce A. Pruitt

    Wetland regulation and policy in the United States is dictated by an amalgam of statute, regulation, judicial decisions, administrative policy, and public sentiment that has changed many times over the decades and continues to evolve even today. The relative rigor of wetland regulation has been likened to a clock pendulum that swings with the prevailing sympathies of the American populace and can change dramatically with changes in presidential administration or congressional majority. In the earliest days of the American colonies, wetlands and marshes in the eastern United States were considered wild places or wastelands that had to be tamed in...

  15. 10 WETLAND RESTORATION
    (pp. 348-406)
    Joy B. Zedler

    Restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed (Society for Ecological Restoration 2002). It is a broad arena, with some projects as small as the excavation of a 10-m² depression intended to hold water briefly in spring (a vernal pool) and others measuring in the thousands of km². Some restoration needs are as simple as ceasing the drainage of water, while others are fraught with difficulty. Some goals can be accomplished on site; others require consideration of entire watersheds, river basins, or other distant locations (e.g., wintering grounds of wetland...

  16. 11 FLOOD PULSING AND THE DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF BIODIVERSITY IN FLOODPLAINS
    (pp. 407-435)
    Wolfgang J. Junk and Karl Matthias Wantzen

    In the first article of the Ramsar Convention,wetlandsis defined as “areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters” (Navid 1989). This definition encompasses coastal and shallow marine areas (including coral reefs) as well as river courses and temporary lakes (Hails 1996). It was first adopted to embrace all the wetland habitats of migratory waterbirds but is now widely accepted for wetlands in general.

    The...

  17. 12 CONSEQUENCES FOR WETLANDS OF A CHANGING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
    (pp. 436-462)
    Mark Brinson

    One of the major components of global climate change is water balance. Few ecosystems are so dependent on water as wetlands, and thus vulnerable to changes in water sources and evapotranspiration. As a general rule, wetlands will diminish under drier conditions because water inputs will be reduced, while the opposite is true for climates that become wetter. We need only compare an arid state like Arizona, with less than 1% wetland coverage, with Florida and Louisiana, with greater than 33% coverage (Fretwell et al. 1996), to see a correspondence between climate and wetland abundance.

    We also know that climate, and...

  18. LITERATURE CITED
    (pp. 463-560)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 561-568)