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Functional Assessment of Wetlands - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781855738348, 9781845695163

Functional Assessment of Wetlands

1st Edition

Towards Evaluation of Ecosystem Services

Editor: E. Maltby
Hardcover ISBN: 9781855738348
eBook ISBN: 9781845695163
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 27th April 2009
Page Count: 694
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Wetlands perform functions that deliver benefits to society, often referred to as ecosystem services. These ecosystem services include water supply, flood regulation, water purification, climate regulation, biodiversity, agriculture (e.g. grazing land), and amenity. A functional approach to wetland assessment enables a holistic view to be taken of the wide range of services wetlands can provide. The functional assessment procedures (FAPs) in this volume translate best available scientific knowledge into reasonable predictions of how component parts of wetlands function in different landscape contexts. They can be used to indicate the potential and priorities for management options in such areas as flood control, pollution reduction and biodiversity conservation.

Functional assessment enables the user to predict the functioning of a wetland area without the need for comprehensive and expensive empirical research The FAPs therefore provide a methodology that can be used by both experts and non-experts to assess wetland functioning relatively rapidly. The volume includes an electronic version of the FAPs on CD which automates aspects of the assessment once the initial recording stage is completed. It is anticipated that the FAPs will be used by a range of individuals or organisations concerned with wetland management who wish to gain a better understanding of the processes, functions, services or benefits and potential of the wetlands for which they have responsibility.

Key Features

  • Provides a systematic methodology to evaluate how wetlands function
  • Allows non-experts to assess wetland functioning rapidly and cost-effectively
  • Automates aspects of the functional assessment through the accompanying CD-ROM


Land use managers, geographers and wetland ecologists looking for a rapid approach to assess wetland ecosystem services on the landscape

Table of Contents

Section 1 Introduction: Introduction to wetlands and functional assessment. Section 2 Wetland database establishment: Introduction; Fieldwork preparation; Hydrogeomorphic (hgmu) delineation; HGMU Characterisation; Recording sheets. Section 3 Functional assessment: Introduction; Hydrological functions; Biogeochemical functioning; Ecological functioning. Section 4 Scoring and appendices: Functional analysis summary.


No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2009
27th April 2009
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

E. Maltby

Edward Maltby is Professor of Wetland Science, Water and Ecosystem Management and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Water, Integrated Management and Ecosystem Research (SWIMMER) at the University of Liverpool, UK. Professor Maltby has an internationally-recognised reputation for his research and policy advice on wetlands and their management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK


Finally we have a clearly written and well organized book that provides wetland scientists and managers with an in-depth analysis of the hydrogeomorphic unit (HGMU) approach and its application to wetland functional assessment. Maltby provides not only the background on the application of functional analysis, but gives the reader a step-by step blueprint for wetland database establishment, field work preparation, and delineation, and importantly provides key indicators of hydrologic, biogeochemical and ecological functions that can be combined into a model to evaluate ecosystem services. This volume will be extremely valuable to land use managers, geographers and wetland ecologists looking for a rapid approach to assess wetland ecosystem services on the landscape., Professor Curtis J Richardson, Director Duke University Wetland Center

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