Wetland Classification

Authored by: Ralph W. Tiner

Wetland Indicators

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781439853696
eBook ISBN: 9781315374710
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781315374710-9

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Abstract

Given the range of environmental conditions affecting wetlands, scientists have developed wetland classification systems to arrange wetlands into similar groups. This is particularly important for conducting inventories and watershed planning, assessing biodiversity, evaluating wetland functions, assessing the impacts of wetland alteration and degradation, and considering potential wetland restoration. Classification from the natural resource standpoint is the grouping of habitats or natural features into categories with similar characteristics, properties, or functions. The unifying properties vary according to the needs of the classifier. For example, wetlands may be classified biologically, physically, chemically, hydrogeomorphically, and in other ways, depending on the discipline and interests of the classifier. In the United States, most of the wetland classification has focused on the form of the wetland type rather than on the function. Recent attention has begun to emphasize the latter due to the need to evaluate wetland functions for assessing impacts of proposed projects subject to government regulations.

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