Wetlands are particularly diverse habitats because they are home to both aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna. Wetlands are important for conservation because they are often home to many rare and endangered species. For example, in the United States alone, over a third or all rare or endangered species reside in wetlands. Wetlands offer many benefits for both humans and wildlife because they are hydrologic modifiers, wildlife centers, and beneficial for both water quality and nutrient cycling (Forman, et al. 2003). As wildlife centers, wetlands are the most botanically productive habitats on earth and support high abundance and diversity of animal life per surface area. However, wetlands are heavily influenced by the surrounding landscape because they depend upon surrounding habitats for physical and biological exchanges (Mitsch & Gosselink. 2000). Therefore, wetlands and buffer areas around them are important, and policy decisions regarding wetland protection and conservation need to account for buffer zones between core wetland habitat and the surrounding landscape (Findlay & Houlahan. 1997).

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

Document Type

Unpublished Paper

Publication Date