Mon, May 02, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Science council touts biodiversity in new wetlands

Staff Writer, with CNA

Some man-made wetland areas in Taiwan have contributed to biodiversity and the treatment of wastewater, said a study released recently by the National Science Council.

In a three-year project that began in 2008, the council found that two artificial wetlands along the Dahan River (大漢溪) in northern Taiwan have helped to increase fauna by 27 times and have led to a 70 percent reduction in the organic pollution of wastewater. The river flows through New Taipei City (新北市) as well as Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties.

It was found that the wetlands have helped to attract 152 types of insects, 58 bird species, 34 types of aquatic invertebrates, eight types of amphibians and seven fish species during the three-year period, the council said.

The study found that the number of birds and fish had increased as the artificial wetland area expanded, while the number of aquatic invertebrates had grown with the spread of vegetation cover.

“The functions of the two constructed wetlands and their ecological environment have become very similar to natural wetlands as the food webs are becoming more complex,” said Lin Hsing-juh (林幸助), a professor at National Chung Hsing University, who led project.

“As long as we maintain proper management, the constructed wetlands will become more efficient in treating wastewater and increasing biodiversity,” Lin said.

He said the man-made wetlands, each 15,000m2, had also contributed to reducing the greenhouse effect, as they can absorb 30kg of carbon dioxide per day as the water quality improves.

Lin said the government should take care of the more than 100 constructed wetlands around Taiwan to preserve the country’s natural resources and to provide more public recreational spaces.

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