Economic Importance of Wetlands

The U. S. Government Council on Environmental Quality (1978) stated in a task force report that if wetlands had no other value, they would be valuable to society for beautiful and rot resistant lumber, like maple, bald cypress or tupelo, and as a nursery for fish, in particular menhaden, a wetland dependent fish valued for its oil and used for everything from insect spray to animal feed. Increasingly, wetlands are also habitat for microorganisms that have special qualities needed by industry where oxidation and reduction are key for bioremediation. Many of these are bacteria which live in anaerobic environments of wetland soils. Some bacteria are being studied for pharmaceutical prosperities. The enzymes they use in cellular activity have shown the ability to speed up other biological reactions such as those in medical tests and industrial chemical reaction.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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