The Importance of Wetlands


Wetlands are an essential part of the world’s landscape that provides human, fishes and wildlife with several important uses most of these services and functions comprises of the adequate protection of water quality, improving the nature and quality of water body, providing habitats for fishes and wildlife, regulating and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods and storing excess flood waters this functions are invaluable to man and existence of life, making wetlands one of the most revered natural ecosystem. The importance of wetlands cannot be over-emphasised. there are endless reasons why wetlands are very important. In this article, we bring to you some of these reasons listed below.

Wetlands Are One of the Most Productive Ecosystems in the World

Wetlands are one of the most effective and essential ecosystems in the world when compared to others like the coral reefs or the tropical rainforest. Large varieties of species of plants, fishes, birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, amphibians and micro bacteria are found in wetlands. They house this organism and provide a stable environment for their survival. Factors that determine the survival of an organism in an ecosystem are climate, landscape shape, geology, topology (landscape shape) and the abundance and movement of water. The dynamic and complex relationships that exist amongst organisms found in a wetland environment are called the food web. The food web is the differentiating factor that separates various wetlands from one another.

Wetlands Provide Food to Nature

Wetlands are essential because they provide the food required for the survival of various animal species. They are regularly referred as “biological supermarkets” by many biologists around the world. Many organisms depend on wetlands for their food and use wetlands as part of or even all their cycles. For example, many aquatic insects, shellfish, and little fishes depend on the dead leaves and stem for food. These dead leaves and stem break down in water to form small organic particles and materials known as “detritus”. These small water organisms feed off detritus for survival. In turn, big predatory fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds and other mammals feed on these smaller fishes. Hence the cycle of life continues.

Wetlands Are Essential Part of the Life Cycle

Organisms that exist in wetlands like microbes, plants, and wildlife are part of global life cycles for nitrogen, water, and sulphur. Biologists have acknowledged that atmospheric refreshment and maintenance is a major function of wetlands. Wetlands store major elements in their community. For example, wetlands store carbon in their plant community and soil rather releasing carbon dioxide into the environment, hence wetlands serve as moderator of climatic conditions.

Wetlands Provide Protection Against Flood

Wetlands serve as natural sponges and absorbers that hold and slowly release groundwater, flood water, surface water, snowmelt, and even rain into the atmosphere. Vegetations in wetlands like trees, complex root mats also help to slow down the speed of flood water and gradually spreads them over the floodplain. The actions of water storage and speed braking help lower flood heights and minimise the occurrence of erosion.