"Wetlands" has become a hot word in the current environmental debate. But what does it signify? In 1991, proposed changes in the legal definities of wetlands stirred controversy and focused attention on the scientific and economic aspects of their management.
This volume explores how to define wetlands. The committee--whose members were drawn from academia, government, business, and the environmental community--builds a rational, scientific basis for delineating wetlands in the landscape and offers recommendations for further action.
Wetlands also discusses the diverse hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands, and makes recommendations concerning so-called controversial areas such as permafrost wetlands, riparian ecosystems, irregularly flooded sites, and agricultural wetlands. It presents criteria for identifying wetlands and explores the problems of applying those criteria when there are seasonal changes in water levels.
This comprehensive and practical volume will be of interest to environmental scientists and advocates, hydrologists, policymakers, regulators, faculty, researchers, and students of environmental studies.
National Research Council. Wetlands: Characteristics and Boundaries. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1995.
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