The restoration of wetlands is a hot topic worldwide, here is information that gives leverage to its use and reemphasizes the value of original wetlands over “quick-fix” planting type systems that do not replicate true wetlands in their biological functioning

THE DIRT


New research published in the online journal, PLoS Biology, argues that wetlands are some of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. Mangrove forests and boreal peatlands mitigate the impacts of storms and flooding on coastal communities, limit erosion, store carbon, and provide habitat for lots of fish and bird species. Unfortunately, many communities have never realized this. More than half of wetland ecosystems in North American, Australia, Europe, and Asia, have been destroyed by development. And there’s more bad news. According to the group of researchers from Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and other universities, restored, man-made wetlands don’t provide as much value as natural ones. “Restoration performance is limited. Current restoration practice fails to recover original levels of wetland ecosystem functions, even after many decades.”

A “meta-analysis” of more than 600 wetland sites worldwide found that even 100 years post-restoration, “biological structure (driven mostly by plant assemblages), and biogeochemical functioning (driven primarily…

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