GS Mains Model Question & Answer : Discuss the role of wetland in the ecological conservation? Comment
Q. Discuss the role of wetland in the ecological conservation? Comment
Discuss the role of wetland in the ecological conservation?
Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous
beneficial services for people and for fish and wildlife. Some of these
services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality,
providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining
surface water flow during dry periods. These valuable functions are the result
of the unique natural characteristics of wetlands.
Importance of Wetlands:-
Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to
rain forests and coral reefs.
Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed.
Wetlands and People
Far from being useless, disease-ridden places, wetlands provide values that
no other ecosystem can. These include natural water quality improvement, flood
protection, shoreline erosion control, opportunities for recreation and
aesthetic appreciation and natural products for our use at no cost. Protecting
wetlands can protect our safety and welfare.
Natural Products for Our Economy
We use a wealth of natural products from wetlands, including fish and
shellfish, blueberries, cranberries, timber and wild rice. Some medicines are
derived from wetland soils and plants. Many of the nation's fishing and
shellfishing industries harvest wetland-dependent species. In the Southeast, for
example, nearly all the commercial catch and over half of the recreational
harvest are fish and shellfish that depend on the estuary-coastal wetland
system. Louisiana's coastal marshes are tremendously valuable for their
commercial fish and shellfish harvest. Wetlands are habitats for fur-bearers
like muskrat, beaver and mink as well as reptiles such as alligators.
Fish and Wildlife Habitat
More than one-third of the United States' threatened and endangered species
live only in wetlands, and nearly half use wetlands at some point in their
lives. Many other animals and plants depend on wetlands for survival. Estuarine
and marine fish and shellfish, various birds and certain mammals must have
coastal wetlands to survive. Most commercial and game fish breed and raise their
young in coastal marshes and estuaries. Menhaden, flounder, sea trout, spot,
croaker and striped bass are among the more familiar fish that depend on coastal
wetlands. Shrimp, oysters, clams, and blue and Dungeness crabs likewise need
these wetlands for food, shelter and breeding grounds.
Wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release surface
water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater and flood waters. Trees, root mats and other
wetland vegetation also slow the speed of flood waters and distribute them more
slowly over the floodplain. This combined water storage an braking action lowers
flood heights and reduces erosion.