The Wetlands and their importance

wetlands

Our focus today is on WETLANDS. I’ve had a lot of enquiries on wetlands and their importance. Around the National Theatre in Lagos, under the Eko Bridge and along the coastal areas, the land is marshy and wet all year round. At times the volume of water in the marshy areas reduces during the dry season while the areas fill up with rising water level during the rainy season.

What also puzzles me is that many young children fish for tiny fish and crabs in the brackish waters. May be their mothers cook these for them for dinner?

In view of the importance of wetlands, we at BELVYNA are focusing on WETLANDS in our next few posts. There is a need for us to know the how and why of wetlands; their importance in preserving nature, the environment and why they are vital to the ecosystem.

What are wetlands?

Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or water is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year round or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the wet and dry season.

In other words, a wetland is wet all year round. It is the saturation of the water (hydrology) that largely determines how the soil develops and the types of plant and animal communities living in and on the soil.

Wetlands may support both aquatic and terrestrial species. The prolonged presence of water creates conditions that favour the growth of specially adapted plants (hydrophytes) and promote the development of characteristic wetland (hydric) soils.

Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance. Indeed, wetlands are found from the tundra to the tropics and on every continent except Antarctica.

There are two classes of wetlands – Coastal or tidal wetlands and Inland or non-tidal wetlands.

Water saturation (hydrology) largely determines how the soil develops and the types of plant and animal communities living in and on the soil. Wetlands may support both aquatic and terrestrial species. The prolonged presence of water creates conditions that favour the growth of specially adapted plants (hydrophytes) and promote the development of characteristic wetland (hydric) soils.

Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance. Indeed, wetlands are found from the tundra to the tropics and on every continent except Antarctica. Two general categories of wetlands are recognized: coastal or tidal wetlands and inland or non-tidal wetlands.

Wetlands exist in every country and in every climatic zone, from the Polar Regions to the tropics. They are distributed around the world and cover an area that is 33% larger than the USA.

Wetlands are highly variable and dynamic: they are water bodies but also include land. They are freshwater, brackish or saline, inland or coastal, seasonal or permanent, natural or man-made. Wetlands include mangroves, swamps and marshes, rivers, lakes, floodplains and flooded forests, rice-fields, and even coral reefs.

More on Nigeria’s Wetlands in my next post

Author Bio

belvyna

Mrs. Yemisi Akibu ( nee Awokoya) is the Chief Executive Officer of Belvyna Global, an agricultural consultancy service firm based in Lagos, Nigeria She is a former Team Member of the Agricultural Department of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of Nigeria's first generation banks. She holds a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Masters degree in National Development and Project Planning from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She is passionate about the role agriculture plays in the social, economic, political development of a nation. She holds the view that one of the pillars of stability of a nation food security and this can only be achieved through the holistic development of the agricultural sector. She can be contacted via: yemisiakibu@gmail.com or info@belvynaglobal.com Remember, The Farmer Is King Enjoy my blog

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