Karst Wetlands

Reference work entry

Abstract

Karst is a term used for characteristic landscapes, landscape features, and phenomena developed in water soluble and porous carbonate rocks on surface and underground. The name originates from the stony limestone region Kras/Carso on the border of Slovenia and Italy where it was first studied. Carbonate rocks outcrop across some 13.2% of world’s land area, yet subterranean carbonate rocks with karst groundwater circulation extend to an even larger area, estimated to about 14% of world’s land area. Surficial karst wetlands function interdependently with their subterranean “counterparts” to maintain their ecological character. Karst wetlands occur in all regions of the world but their complexity, values, and ecosystem services are still not fully recognized and many are threatened by economic developments (tourism developments, agriculture, fisheries) that depend on the same wetland resources.

Keywords

Karst Carbonate Poljes Ponors Cenotes Sinkholes Caves Hydrology Subterranean 

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Environment Directorate, Nature Conservation UnitLjubljanaSlovenia

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