- Volume 6 Issue 3
The wetland ecosystem is a complex products of various erosion force, accumulation as water flows, hydrogeomorphic units, seasonal changes, the amount of rainfalls, and other essential element. There is no single, correct, ecologically sound definition for wetlands because of the diversity of wetlands and the demarcation between dry and wet environments occurs along a continuum, but wetland plays various ecosystem functions. Despite comprehensive integration through classification and impact factors there is still lacking in systematic management of wetlands. Classification system developed by the USFWS(1979) is hierarchical progresses from systems and subsystems at general levels to classes, subclasses, dominance types, and habitat modifiers. Systems and subsystems are delineated according to major physical attributes such as tidal flushing, ocean-derived salts, and the energy of flowing water or waves. Classes and subclasses describe the type of substrate and habitat or the physiognomy of the vegetation or faunal assemblage. Wetland classes are divided into physical types and biotic types. For the wise management of wetlands in Korea, this study was carried out to examine methodology of USFWS classification system and discuss its application for Korean wetland hydrogeomorphic units already known. Seven wetland types were chosen as study sites in Korea divided into some different types based on USFWS system. Three wetland types belonging to palustrine system showed no difference between Wangdungjae wetland and Mujechi wetland, but Youngnup of Mt. Daeam was different from the former two types at the level of dominant types. This fact means that setting of classification system for management of wetland is needed. Although we may never know much about the wetland resources that have been lost, there are opportunities to conserve the riches that remain. Extensive inventory of all wetland types and documentation of their ecosystem functions are vital. Unique and vulnerable examples in particular need to be identified and protected. Furthermore, a framework with which to demonstrate wetland characteristics and relationships is needed that is sufficiently detailed to achieve the identification of the integrity and salient features of an enormous range of wetland types.