Amazon River Basin

Florian Wittman & Wolfgang Junk. Living Reference Work Entry: The Wetland Book pp 1-20, Springer Verlag.

Amazonian wetlands cover an area of more than two million of kilometers squared and consist of different wetland types that vary in hydrology, water and soil fertility, and productivity. Wetlands harbor a large fraction of Amazonian biodiversity also including many endemic plant and animal species, and provide multiple ecosystem services to humans. However, few Amazonian countries have detailed wetland inventories, maps, and classification systems, and therefore also lack specific conservation and wetland management strategies. While remote and scarcely inhabited wetland types are still in a fairly pristine stage, the conservation status of most Amazonian wetlands is at high risk because of multiple threats and in particular due to the lack of national and transnational policies regarding wetland conservation. Major threats of Amazonian wetlands include land cover change, river damming for hydropower generation, pollution, ecosystem degradation and local changes in hydrology. This trend can only be mitigated by the creation of a more holistic understanding of the benefits provided by wetlands combined with integrated, transnational conservation measures.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith