The definition of a wetland varies from one organization to another. In the United States, for example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers defines it as a “waterbody that has been inundated by and maintains water at or near its bank elevation through at least part of its basin” or “any land area that is inundated by surface water or groundwater.” In Canada, however, Environment Canada uses slightly different terms in defining wetlands: “a body of water with an elevation below sea level and which periodically fills with water during high tide cycles,” or “a natural depression in the earth’s surface where groundwater collects from rain-free areas above.”
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. Wetlands can be found in coastal areas and low-lying regions, but they are also found in higher elevations where snowfall occurs.
Wetlands are important for maintaining biodiversity because they provide habitat for many different kinds of animals and plants. For example, wetlands help protect shorelines from erosion by absorbing water during high tides and releasing it during low tides. They also provide drinking water for humans and wildlife alike (as well as many other uses).
Wetland classification is based on the hydrology of a wetland. A wetland can be classified as:
- Temporary, seasonal or permanent.
- The type of hydrology that defines it.
Wetland classification system
The dominant vegetation and hydrological regime are the two major factors that define a wetland. Wetlands can be classified as:
- Permanent wetlands – These are features that have been formed over thousands of years by waterlogging or subsidence, or by natural processes such as hurricanes, floods and ice flows. They do not experience significant human intervention in their development.
- Permanent freshwater marshes – These are wetlands that receive their drinking water from standing bodies of water such as lakes, ponds and rivers. While they can also be found on land surfaces if they receive enough rainfall each year (which is rare), most of these areas maintain openwater conditions throughout much of their existence due both to high evaporation rates during dry seasons as well as seasonal flooding events during rainy seasons when runoff infiltrates into soils beneath trees’ roots which then release nutrients back into surface waters where they fertilize plants growing above ground level
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.
Wetlands are areas of land that are saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem.
Wetlands can be found anywhere in the world and vary greatly in size, shape and composition. They consist of shallow lakes and ponds connected to larger bodies of water by ditches or channels called swamps or marshes. In some places there may be open water on top so that even when they fill up with rainwater they still seem open rather than closed off like a pond would be if there wasn’t any vegetation growing above it.
In conclusion, wetlands are an important part of our ecosystem. They provide a home for many different kinds of plants and animals, including fish and other aquatic creatures. They also help to retain water in the soil and slow down erosion by preventing it from running off into rivers or streams. Wetlands have been around since before humans existed on Earth!