Some of the worlds most threatened ecosystems are lakes and wetlands. Water has many interconnecting roles in the Earth system, and as such environmental problems tend to compound themselves in aquatic ecosystems.
Wetlands have been targeted for drainage throughout the years by land reclamation projects. Only recently have the huge environmental benefits provided by wetlands been uncovered, and their preservation looked into. Some studies even suggest that the world’s wetlands represent a larger carbon sink than do its forests. Wetlands also act as giant scrub brushes, cleaning pollutants from the water as it flows through them.
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Lehner, B., Döll, P. (2001): A global wetlands, lakes and reservoirs data set. Unpublished manuscript.
(All images are provided at a resolution of 1600×1200 pixels)
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