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This guide will help users find information about wetlands, an important but oft times threatened ecosystem.
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Did you know?

  • 50% of the world's wetlands have been lost since 1900.
  • 60% of the world's 227 largest rivers are severely fragmented by dams, diversions and canals, leading to the degradation of ecosystems.
  • Between 34 and 80 fish species have become extinct since the late 19th century, 6 since 1970.
  • In the United States, 120 of 822 freshwater fish species are considered threatened, representing 15% of total fish species.
  • At a global level, around 24% of mammals and 12% of birds are classified as threatened.
  • 60% of the world's 227 largest rivers are severely fragmented by dams, diversions and canals, leading to the degradation of ecosystems.
  • 5 out of 55 rivers in Europe are considered pristine, and only the upper sections of the 14 largest rivers retain 'good ecological status'.
  • In Asia, all rivers running through cities are badly polluted.

World Water Assessment Program. 13 March, 2010.



Wetlands are areas that are permanently or periodically covered by water. They are very important ecosystems that serve as filters to contaminants and are home to many endangered and threatened plants and animals. Agriculture and urbanization have made wetlands scarce in Illinois and other parts of the world.

There are many differing types of wetlands, and various words are used to describe wetlands including bogs, fens, kettle holes, marshes, muskegs, peatlands, riparian areas and swamps. There exists a plethora of information about wetlands, so narrowing your search to a particular type of wetland or geographical region is more likely to help you find useful information.


Subject Headings

There are many Library of Congress subject headings which you may want to use to look for books and journals in the online catalog. You can divide many of these subject headings further by geography and/or a more specific subject

Bogs (narrower topic)
Constructed wetlands (narrower topic)
Fens (narrower topic)
Forested wetlands (narrower topic)
Marshes (narrower topic)
Moors (narrower topic)
Muskeg (narrower topic)
Peatlands (narrower topic)
Riparian areas (narrower topic)
Swamps (narrower topic)
Tidal flats (narrower topic)

Wetland Agriculture (May subdivide geographically)
Wetland farming (use Wetland Agriculture)
Dambo Farming (narrower term)

Wetland Animals (May subdivide geographically)
Wetland fauna (use Wetland Animals)
Aquatic animals (broader term)
Bog animals (narrower term)
Marsh animals (narrower term)
Moor animals (narrower term)
Riceland animals (narrower term)
Swamp animals (narrower term)

Wetland conservation (May subdivide geographically)
Nature conservation (broader term)
Estuarine area conservation (narrower topic)
Mangrove conservation (narrower topic)
Moor conservation (narrower topic)
Peatland conservation (narrower topic)
--Law and legislation (May subdivide geographically)

Wetland ecology (May subdivide geographically)
Ecology (broader term)
Bog ecology (narrower topic)
Marsh ecology (narrower topic)
Moor ecology (narrower topic)
Peatland ecology (narrower topic)
Swamp ecology (narrower topic)

Wetland landscape design
Wetland design (use Wetland landscape design)

Wetland Plants (May subdivide geographically)
Wetland flora (use wetland plants)
Bog plants (narrower topic)
Helophytes (narrower topic)
Marsh plants (narrower topic)
Moor plants (narrower topic)
Muskeg plants (narrower topic)
Peatland plants (narrower topic)
Swamp plants (narrower topic)

Subject Guide

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Beth Wohlgemuth
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