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  • © 2020

The Wetland Book

I: Structure and Function, Management, and Methods

  • A comprehensive resource aimed at supporting the trans- and multidisciplinary research and practice which is inherent to this field

  • A readily accessible online reference which will be the first port of call on key concepts in wetlands science and management

  • Will allow multidisciplinary teams and transdisciplinary individuals to look up terms, access further details read overviews on key issues and navigate to key articles selected by experts

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (327 entries)

  1. Anatomy of Wetland Plants

    • James L. Seago Jr
  2. Birdlife International

    • Robert J. McInnes
  3. Brazilian Wetlands: Classification

    • Wolfgang J. Junk, Maria T. F. Piedade, Jochen Schoengart, Florian Wittmann, Catia Nunes da Cunha
  4. Capacity Development for Wetland Management

    • G. J. M. Gevers, Esther M. J. Koopmanschap, Kenneth Irvine, C. Max Finlayson, Anne van Dam
  5. Carbon Flux from Wetlands

    • Hojeong Kang, Inyoung Jang
  6. Climate Change and Wetlands

    • C. Max Finlayson

About this book

The Wetland Book is a comprehensive resource aimed at supporting the trans- and multidisciplinary research and practice which is inherent to this field. Aware both that wetlands research is on the rise and that researchers and students are often working or learning across several disciplines, The Wetland Book is a readily accessible online and print reference which will be the first port of call on key concepts in wetlands science and management. This easy-to-follow reference will allow multidisciplinary teams and transdisciplinary individuals to look up terms, access further details, read overviews on key issues and navigate to key articles selected by experts

Editors and Affiliations

  • Dept. of Ecology and Biodiversity, Charles Sturt University Inst. for Land, Water and Society, Albury, Australia

    C. Max Finlayson

  • Great Somerford, UK

    Mark Everard

  • Chair of Aquatic Ecosystems, UNESCO-IHE Chair of Aquatic Ecosystems, Delft, The Netherlands

    Kenneth Irvine

  • RM Wetland & Environment Ltd. , Littleworth, UK

    Robert J. McInnes

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center , Lafayette, USA

    Beth A. Middleton

  • Dept. of Water Science and Engineering, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education Dept. of Water Science and Engineering, Delft, The Netherlands

    Anne A. van Dam

  • Charles Sturt University , Albury, Australia

    Nick C. Davidson

About the editors

C. Max Finlayson (Editor-in-Chief): is an internationally renowned wetland ecologist with extensive experience internationally in water pollution, agricultural impacts, invasive species, climate change, and human well-being and wetlands. He has participated in global assessments such as those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the Global Environment Outlook 4 & 5 (UNEP). Since the early 1990s he has been a technical adviser to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and has written extensively on wetland ecology and management. He has also been actively involved in environmental NGOs and from 2002-07 was President of the governing council of global NGO Wetlands International.

Professor Finlayson has worked extensively on the inventory, assessment and monitoring of wetlands, in particular in wet tropical, wet-dry tropical and sub-tropical climatic regimes covering pollution, invasive species and climate change. His current research interests/projects including the following:

  • Interactions between human well-being and wetland health in the face of anthropogenic change, including global change and the onset of the Anthropocenic era
  • Vulnerability and adaptation of wetlands/rivers to climate change, including changing values and trade-offs between uses and users, considering uncertainty and complexity
  • Integration of ecologic, economic and social requirements and trade-offs between users of wetlands with an emphasis on developing policy guidance and institutional changes
  • Environment and agriculture interactions and policy responses/outcomes, and collaboration between stakeholders and policy-makers
  • Wetland restoration and construction, including the use of artificial wetlands for waste water treatment and the generation of multiple values
  • Landscape change involving wetlands/rivers and land use (agriculture and mining) and implications for wetland ecosystem services and benefits for local people.

He holds the following associated positions 

  • Scientific Expert on the Scientific and Technical Review Panel, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Triennium 2016-2018
  • Ramsar Chair for the Wise use of Wetlands, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands (2014-18)
  • Visiting Professor, Institute for Wetland Research, China Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
  • Editor-in-Chief, Marine and Freshwater Research, CSIRO Publishing
  • Chair, Environmental Strategy Advisory Panel, Winton Wetlands Restoration (Australia)

Professor Finlayson has contributed to over 300 journal articles, reports, guidelines, proceedings and book chapters on wetland ecology and management. He has contributed to the development of concepts and methods for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, and undertaken many site-based assessments in many countries.


Nicholas C. Davidson (Lead Advisor): Nick Davidson was the Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2000 to 2014, with overall responsibility for the Convention's global development and delivery of scientific, technical and policy guidance and advice and communications as the Convention Secretariat’s senior advisor on these matters. He has long-standing experience in, and a strong commitment to, environmental sustainability supported through the transfer of environmental science into policy-relevance and decision-making at national and international scales. Nick currently works as an independent expert consultant on wetland conservation and wise use.

Nick has over 40 years’ experience of research on the ecology, assessment and conservation of coastal and inland wetlands and the ecophysiology and flyway conservation of migratory waterbirds, with a 1981 PhD from the University of Durham (UK) on this topic, and continues to publish on these issues. Prior to his Ramsar Convention post he worked for the UK's national government conservation agencies on coastal wetland inventory, assessment, information systems and communications, and as International Science Coordinator for the global NGO Wetlands International.

He is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Australia; was presented with the Society of Wetland Scientist’s (SWS) International Fellow Award 2010 for his long-term contributions to global wetland science and policy; chairs the SWS’s Ramsar Section; is an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Marine & Freshwater Research; is a member of several IUCN Commissions and their task forces (World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), Species Survival Commission (SSC) and Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM)); and is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).


Volume Editors:


Beth Middleton: Beth A. Middleton is a research ecologist with the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her biogeographical research focuses on the impact of climate and landuse change on wetlands, particularly forested freshwater wetlands. Her most recent studies are on hydrologic remediation and vegetation response, and she applies those findings to natural resource conservation. Her work has contributed to the understanding of world wetland restoration and global climate change and her book "Wetland restoration, flood pulsing and disturbance dynamics" received the Merit Award of the Society of Wetland Scientists. Her dissertation was on monsoonal wetlands in India (Ph.D. Iowa State University), and was the origin of her later research on the implications of shifts in drought cycles on wetland biodiversity. Her writing is extensive with several books, and more than 125 research articles.


She is a member of the graduate faculty at the University of Louisiana. Before moving to USGS, she was a full professor at Southern Illinois University. Currently, she is a member of several climate change advisory committees and management working groups. She has done extensive research on worldwide wetlands including monsoonal wetlands, baldcypress swamps, peatlands, salt marshes, fens and mangrove swamps. Her Fulbright work was at G.B. Pant University. She has served as a senior visiting professor with the Chinese Academy of Science working on wetlands dynamics in China, and is a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer. Also, has given several high level addresses including the Earth Day talk for the U.S. Consulate in Chennai India, and a TEDx talk called “Conservation Oblivion” (


Robert McInnes: Rob McInnes is an independent Chartered Environmentalist with over 25 years’ experience in wetland-related environmental research, consultancy and conservation. His main areas of interest in wetlands revolve around three inter-related themes: understanding their biodiversity and the ecosystem services provided to human society; the practical restoration and creation of wetlands for multifunctional benefits; and the development and implementation of wetland conservation and wise use policies and strategies.

He works on wetland-related projects within the UK and overseas and has knowledge extending across a range of wetland types. He regularly publishes articles in peer-reviewed journals, books and conference proceedings. Prior to working independently Rob was Head of Wetland Conservation at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, UK, and has also worked in ecological consultancy and in academia at the Universities of Exeter and London.

Rob has been actively involved with the Ramsar Convention’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel since 2008 where he has contributed to the Panel’s work on urban wetlands, wetland restoration, wetlands and climate change and wetland ecosystem services. In addition to undertaking projects on behalf of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, he has worked for intergovernmental organisations including UNESCO, CBD and UN HABITAT, major international NGOS, national and local governments and private clients.

In addition to his project work Rob is an active member of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), has been a former President of the European Chapter of SWS, is an Associate Editor of the Society’s journal Wetlands, and in 2011 was awarded the President’s Service Award for the significant contributions he has made in promoting the goals of the Society.


Mark Everard:  is Associate Professor of Ecosystem Services at the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol) in the UK, as well as a consultant, author and broadcaster.

Mark has extensive involvement in the development and implementation of ecosystem services and the Ecosystem Approach since the 1980s.  He has particular interests in wetland and water systems, including the many important roles they play in socio-ecological systems and sustainable or other feedback between human and natural elements of these systems.

Mark’s work has included extensive international development work, principally in Africa and India, exploring and helping people optimise their interdependencies with wetlands.  He has also served as a policy adviser to UK government around ecosystem and environmental issues, as well as to governments in South Africa, India and Sri Lanka.  However, as the formal policy environment is only as strong as its influence and enforcement, Mark has also worked at local and regional scales particularly in developing countries to learn and out-scale social processes that develop sustainable relationships between people and water resources.

Mark’s academic involvement has been extensive, including his most recent role at UWE, and he has also been involved in Trustee and advisory capacities with many environmental NGOs.  Mark is also a prolific communicator, writing many books, academic papers and magazine articles targeting a range of scientific, technical and popular audiences, also making regular contributions also to TV, radio and online media.


Anne van Dam: is Associate Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (1995) from Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Before joining UNESCO-IHE in 2003, he worked for the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) and for Wageningen University, in various aquaculture and fisheries research projects in The Netherlands, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. His research interests are in the areas of sustainable aquatic resource management, freshwater wetland ecology and governance, nutrient dynamics, and ecosystems modelling. His publications cover subjects like fish growth modelling, periphyton-based fish production systems, integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems, and wetland ecosystem services. During the last 10 years he had a leadership role in research and capacity development projects in East Africa, with research focusing on the interactions between livelihoods activities (e.g. agriculture) and the ecological functioning of papyrus wetlands, collaborating with universities, government agencies and NGOs in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. He has represented UNESCO-IHE at the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) of the Ramsar Convention, is an executive edtitor of the international journal Aquaculture Reports, and was guest editor of a special issue of Wetlands Ecology and Management on the ecology and livelihoods of papyrus wetlands.


Kenneth Irvine: Ken Irvine, born in Dublin, has worked on a range of lakes and catchments in Europe and Africa, gaining broad experience of the global challenges facing water and habitat quality.  After gaining a PhD in 1987 at the University of East Anglia (U.K) for a study on shallow lake food webs, he worked as a Nature Conservation Officer for the U.K. Nature Conservancy Council, before moving to study ecosystem structure and estimating the secondary production of Lake Malawi in Africa. From there, in 1994 he moved to Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and spent a decade and a half grabbling with the intricacies of policy and ecology to support the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. His alter ego continued to work on the African Great Lakes of Malawi and Tanganyika, and the ecology of the Makgadikgadi salt pans of Botswana.  In 2011 he moved to UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education in the Netherlands to engage more fully in research and teaching to support capacity development. He heads up the Aquatic Ecosystems Group and their work on, mainly, African wetlands, with other recent work on the capacity development within the Danube basin and for Integrated Water Resource Management in India and S.E. Asia. He continues to learn about the complexities and wicked problems of sustainable use of water and ecosystems.





Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Wetland Book

  • Book Subtitle: I: Structure and Function, Management, and Methods

  • Editors: C. Max Finlayson, Mark Everard, Kenneth Irvine, Robert J. McInnes, Beth A. Middleton, Anne A. van Dam, Nick C. Davidson

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Dordrecht

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Biomedicine & Life Sciences, Reference Module Biomedical and Life Sciences

  • Number of Pages: X

  • Number of Illustrations: 60 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Freshwater and Marine Ecology, Environmental Management, Earth System Sciences, Earth Sciences, Geography, Ecosystems