March 2010, Vol. 22, No.3

Water Volumes

Wetlands, Fourth Edition

William J. Mitsch and James G. Gosselink (2007). John Wiley & Sons Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774, 582 pp., $110, hardcover, ISBN: 978-0-471-69967-5.

This book, the fourth edition, is a “wetland encyclopedia” initially released in 1986. It integrates fundamental science and technology into wetland applications and management. Professionals interested in wetland applications and management may find this book a very useful and handy reference.

This edition is divided into three parts, with a focus on wetland history, wetland definition, and current wetland surveys from around the world. Part 1 focuses on wetland science, Part 2 examines technology and wetland classifications, and Part 3 looks at wetland management and protection.

Many photographs of wetlands adorn the three chapters of Part 1. Throughout the five chapters of Part 2, an abundance of equations and figures helps the reader understand wetland calculations. Biological adaptation to the wetland environment also is discussed in this part, which provides the theoretical basis for wetland applications and management. Among the six chapters of Part 3 is a new chapter on “Climate Change and Wetlands.” This chapter is a necessity in the new edition because wetlands emit 20% to 25% of global methane emissions. Case studies also are included to serve as examples of wetland applications, including treating municipal wastewater, mine drainage, agricultural wastewater, and landfill leachate.

This book emphasizes global wetland applications, with discussion of wetlands from Mexico and Central America, Western and Central Africa, and throughout Asia.

The appendix, “Wetland Losses by States in the United States,” is handy for U.S. readers. While the book contains an abundance of black-and-white wetland photographs, color photographs might tell a better story.

Gang Chen is an assistant professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida A&M University–Florida State University in Tallahassee.


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