Wetlands are distributed throughout the world except Antarctica. A key facet of a wetland is that water is the primary factor controlling the environment and its associated biota. Several definitions of wetlands have been described. The Ramsar definition of wetlands, which is widely used, is a broad one, encompassing not just marshes and lakes but also coral reefs, peat forests, temporary pools, riparian systems, underground caves, and other systems found everywhere from the mountains to the sea, including man-made habitats such as aquaculture ponds and irrigated agricultural lands. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, they are areas where water covers the soil or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the ...

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