Publication Year

Fall 1974





Document Type



Wetlands are one of the most useful resources the environmentally oriented educator has at his disposal. They are his best teaching facility. Most wetlands allow active use. They provide rapid and easy "direct contact" study of their components. Because one can get an overall perspective, it is often easier to observe the animal populations and to sample the plant communities. Whether the wetland is a wet cattail marsh, sedge meadow, woodland swamp or acid bog the student can see it, feel it and appreciate it as a reservoir for living things. The wetland is not only easy to observe and comprehend but also provides an excellent opportunity to teach basic ecological principles and concepts, those of the ecosystem; of energy and the biogeochemical cycles; of limiting factors and of community and population organization. The wetland offers the opportunity to witness with relative simplicity the processes of orderly change we call succession. Wetlands illustrate the natural relationships of organisms to each other as well as how those organisms relate to their physical environment. Likewise, in wetlands all trophic levels from producer to carnivore are readily observed.