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Institute of Water Supply and Environmental Protection Cracow University of Technology Krakow, ul. Warszawska 24, 31-155 Poland curriculum in natural environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Institute of Water Supply and Environmental Protection Cracow University of Technology Krakow, ul. Warszawska 24, 31-155 Poland curriculum in natural environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Institute of Water Supply and Environmental Protection Cracow University of Technology Krakow, ul. Warszawska 24, Poland curriculum in natural environmental science, vol. 2, 2010 Freshwater (inland) wetlands Ewa Szalinska Krakow University of Technology, Krakow, Poland

2 Outline: What are wetlands? Wetland classification Types of inland wetlands Wetlands: inland vs. coastal Why we need inland wetlands Case study: St. Clair wetlands

3 What are wetlands? Areas of march, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static of flowing, fresh, backish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters Convention on Wetlands, Ramsar, Iran 1971 Source:

4 Wetland classification Horizontal – marsh, swamp, bog, fen, etc Hierarchical – hydrology – i.e. tidal and non-tidal, water permanence, directional flow of water – water chemistry – salinity, halinity, pH – vegetation – wet meadow, marsh, wooded swamp, shrub swamp – origin – natural, man-made – soil type, landform, size, etc. Source: Tiner 1999

5 Inland wetland types: Marshes - herbaceous vegetation; open to sun; water level - centimeters to 1 meter; can periodically dry out; Source: Photos: E. Szalinska Point Peele, ON, Canada Algonquin Park, ON, Canada Swamps – shady, woody plants, saturated soils or standing water; Bogs - acidic water, spongy peat deposits, covered by a layer of sphagnum moss; receive water mostly from precipitation; Fens - peat-forming wetlands, receiving nutrients from sources other than precipitation; Wheatley Park, ON, Canada

6 Wetlands: inland vs. coastal Flood pattern – twice a day (coastal)/no changes - or seasonal (inland); Succession – autogenic and allogenic (inland) / mangrove expansion (coastal) Timescale – rapid changes (inland)/rarely static for significant period of time (coastal) Climate changes – water level, temperature (inland/coastal), precipitation (inland) After: Dugan (ed.) 1993

7 Why we need inland wetlands? Water storage – flood protection Water filtration – improving water quality Habitat for fish, wildlife and plants Economic benefits – fishing, harvesting wetland-dependent species, peat Recreation, education, research After: Dugan (ed.) 1993

8 Case study: St. Clair wetlands Source:

9 The Great Lakes (North America) Source: Huron-Erie Corridor

10 Source: Huron-Erie Corridor Source: Lake St. Clair: - area - 1,115 km2 - average depth m - max depth m - average retention time - 9 days

11 Source: Thomas et al St. Clair Delta formation: - pre-modern delta – 3,500-5,000 yrs. BC - modern delta – 3,500 yrs. BC until present - 7 active channels – average 11 m depth - burrowing delta formation - area – 80 km 2 (36 km 2 freshly emergent wetlands)

12 Source: Changes in the land use pattern: - until 1800 – mostly swamps - intense draining and development after 1850 (loss of 5,250 ha of wetlands) - currently: agriculture and residential use Remaining wetlands: - Chatham Flats (St. Clair National Wildlife Area) - St. Clair Delta (Walpole Island and St. Clair Flats) Chatham Flats Walpole Island St. Clair Flats

13 Source: Ramsar site: 4CA016 St. Clair National Wildlife Area

14 St. Clair wetland habitat and biodiversity Breeding habitat for wetland birds; Habitat for more than 65 species of fish; Numerous amphibian, reptile, and mammal species; Vast array of plant species King rail (Rallus elegens) Photos: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Digital Library System, Rattle snake (Sisustrus catenatus) Spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera) Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) Yellow lotus (Nelumbo lutea)

15 St. Clair wetland wildlife habitat Photos: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Canvasback (Aythya valisineria ) Redhead (Aythya americana ) Northern shoveler (Anas clypeata ) Canada goose (Branta canadiensis)

16 Stressors to the St. Clair wetland ecosystem Lake processes: long- and short-term water level fluctuations, waves, wind tides, ice scour; Direct wetland loss and degradation; Invasive plant and animal species; Mute swan (Cugnus olor) Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) Source: Lake St. Clair annual water levels Photos:

17 Stressors to the St. Clair Delta wetland ecosystem Risk of chemical and fuel spills Source: Kilometers Kilometers Hg > SEL (2.0 mg g -1 dw) between SEL and LEL < LEL (0.2 mg g -1 dw) Source: Szalinska et al., 2007

18 Stressors to the St. Clair Delta wetland ecosystem Source: GLIER 2005

19 References Dugan (ed.) Wetlands in danger. A world conservation atlas. Oxford University Press. GLIER Benthos and chemistry studies on the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. Report Prepared by the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research & Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor for the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund, Windsor, Canada. Thomas et al Formation of the St. Clair River Delta in the Laurentian Great Lakes system. J. Great Lakes Res. 32: Tiner Wetland indicators. A guide to wetland identification, delineation, classification and mapping. Lewis Publishers. Szalinska et al Metals in the sediments of the Huron-Erie Corridor (North America): factors regulating distribution and mobilization. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management, 12: USACE St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair Comprehensive Management Plan, June U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center, "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth" Cornell Lab of Ornithology U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Digital Library System


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