This extension note describes the basic ecological features of wetland ecosystems. It is a foundational document that provides important concepts and background information to be applied in future extension notes on wetland management. Major topics and concepts covered in this document are:
- definition of a wetland ecosystem and comparison of characteristics with other related ecosystems,
- recognition of the different applications of the term "wetland ecosystem" at site and landscape scales,
- major environmental factors and their effects on wetland ecosystems,
- classification of wetland ecosystems,
- successional patterns in wet-land ecosystems,
- natural disturbance regimes of wetlands,
- role of reserves in protecting wetland ecosystems,
- regional variation in wetland abundance and characteristics, and
- some important management issues for wetland ecosystems in British Columbia.
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Updated April 19, 2007