The Wetland Book pp 1461-1468 | Cite as

Wetland Classification: Overview

  • Philippe Gerbeaux
  • C. Max Finlayson
  • Anne A. van Dam
Reference work entry


The term “wetland” groups together a range of largely aquatic habitats that usually have a number of common features, such as the presence of specific vegetation, soils, and water regimes, including the occurrence of continuous, seasonal, or periodic standing water or saturated soils. Most approaches used around the world to classify wetlands are referred to as “classification systems”. The wetland definition and typology used by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an example which includes a wider range of wetland types than included by many others. The Ramsar definition was given in the text of the Convention in 1971 and is one of several classification approaches used around the world. The evolution of wetland classification systems is outlined and a number of other classification systems currently in use around the world are briefly reviewed and discussed in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Gerbeaux
    • 1
  • C. Max Finlayson
    • 2
    • 4
  • Anne A. van Dam
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Conservation, Science and Policy GroupAquatic Division UnitChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute for Land, Water and SocietyCharles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  3. 3.Aquatic Ecosystems Group, Department of Water Science and EngineeringUNESCO-IHE, Institue for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.UNESCO-IHEInstitute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands

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