What are wetlands?
Wetlands are special ecosystems where land is saturated with water, making it a ‘wetland’. Such areas may also be completely or partially covered with water either permanently, or seasonally. The scientific explanation is that the water that drenches the soil stays at the surface for a long period of time. There are two types of wetlands: coastal and inlands. Inlands are seasonal, and are created from freshwater. Estuaries are a special kind of a coastal wetland, mixing freshwater and saltwater.
Wetlands, as part of the ecosystem, should be protected as it is important. Why? Given below is list of importance of wetlands.
Why wetlands are important?
1.) Benefits of wetlands in preventing floods
Wetlands act as an absorber of water, so when it rains water moves slowly throughout the water systems (rivers, streams, lakes, etc.). When heavy rain pours down suddenly, Wetlands would prevent flashfloods since it will absorb the rain water, and thus preventing rivers from filling up.
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2.) Wetlands Cleans Pollution
Wetlands clean pollution like nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and suspended solids. Wetlands can also remove metals, as metals can enter wetlands through surface or soil flow. Industries are actually researching on how they can use it to remove their scrap metals, without causing destruction of wetlands.
3.) Wetlands control climate
Controlling the climate is one of the greatest hydrologic functions of the wetlands. Through evapotranspiration, wetlands return 2/3 of their annual water to the atmosphere. Wetlands also control extreme temperatures in adjacent uplands by cooling them, as wind passes through the wetlands.
4.) Importance of Wetlands in Ecosystem
Wetlands are among the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world, as it provides home for immense varieties of species of native plants and wildlife. Microbes, plants, reptiles, amphibians, migratory and native birds, amphibians, fish, and insects seek refuge in this home. This habitat provides food for humans and animals alike. Also, wetlands beautify areas and provide recreational functions such as fishing, canoeing, and bird watching.
5.) Importance of wetlands in water purification
Wetlands filter out the sedimentation, decompose vegetative matter and converts chemicals into usable form. This way, wetlands makes the water clean and usable for our purposes.
Wetlands are really essential for overall functioning of the earth due to their ability to recycle the nutrients. At few places, where clean water is not available in sufficient amount, artificial wetlands have been developed to purify the water.
The benefits of wetlands are immense. They control the climate, keeps the surroundings pollution free, prevents floods, provides home to many species etc. But wetlands are disappearing very quickly. Not everyone knows that they are very important for the ecosystem. Wetlands have been mistaken as waste land and turned into land.
But as it turns out, they play a very significant role in the ecosystem. Every measure should be taken to protect the wetlands. We hope this essay on the importance of wetlands helped you in your assignment. Do share your opinion on wetlands topic in the comments below.