Applied Ecosystem Services, LLC

The Environmental Issues Doctor

  1. Introduction to wetlands

    Wetlands are difficult to understand by non-specialists, and by many specialists, too. There are differences among the general public perception of what is a wetland, the definitions used by wetland scientists, and the definitions used by regulators on jurisdictional wetlands. This primer is designed to provide an introduction to wetland definitions, how an area is determined to be wetland or upland, how the boundaries are determined, and wetland management considerations. Wetland management involves determining the functions and values of a wetland, criteria for enhancement, and design criteria for wetland creation.
  2. Riparian zones

    Ecologists have determined that landscape edges—boundaries separating one type from another—have higher biological diversity and productivity than do the areas on either side of them. These transition zones are important to animals: mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and fish. In terrestrial ecosystems edges are found between woodlands and grasslands and between forests and meadows. In aquatic ecosystems the edges are stream and river banks and pond and lake shores; the edges separating aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are called riparian zones.
  3. Photo of Why Water Quality Improvement Projects Fail

    Why improvement projects fail


    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Water quality matters for humans, livestock, fish and wildlife, and plants including food crops. Too often policies and regulations are ineffective while restoration projects fail to achieve intended goals. The problem is seen in environmental impact assessments, point- and nonpoint-source discharges, and Superfund sites. While some reasons for failure are project-specific, three common and easily avoided reasons are the lack of knowledge about spatial and temporal distribution of the chemical of concern, no information about the causes and amount of variability, and the focus on concentrations at a local point rather than on the entire ecosystem.

Providing essential environmental services since 1993.