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Science Education

Travel in the Great Wetland and Take a Deep Breath

Wetland Classification

release time:2020-09-04

China has a great diversity of wetlands, which are widely distributed. Wetlands develop from cold temperate zone to tropical zone, from plain to mountain and plateau, and from coast to inland. Roughly speaking, wetlands are mainly divided into two types: natural wetlands and artificial wetlands. In 1999, in order to carry out a survey on wetland resources throughout the country, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration classified wetlands in China into 5 categories and 28 types, that is, offshore and coastal wetlands, river wetlands, lake wetlands, marshes and marshy wetlands, reservoir and pond wetlands, by referring to the classification of the Convention on Wetlands.

Offshore and Coastal Wetlands

Currently, there are 5.7959 million hectares of offshore and coastal wetlands in China, which are mainly distributed in 11 provinces and regions along the coast, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The offshore and coastal wetlands are bounded by Hangzhou Bay. The areas north to Hangzhou Bay are dominated by sandy and muddy beaches, except in some areas of Shandong Peninsula and Liaodong Peninsula, which are dominated by rocky beaches, composed of the coast of circum-Bohai-Sea, the offshore and coastal wetlands in Jiangsu Province. While the areas south to Hangzhou Bay are dominated by rocky beaches. The main estuaries and bays include Qiantang River- Hangzhou Bay, Jinjiang Estuary- Quanzhou Bay, Pearl River Estuary and Beibu Gulf.

River Wetlands

At present, there are 10.5521 million hectares of river wetlands in China, which are mainly divided into three types: permanent rivers, seasonal or intermittent rivers and flood plain wetlands. The characteristics of Chinese rivers: there are many rivers, which run a long course from a distant source, the water amount is huge and changes with season. They have diversified water systems, abundant water resources and a prominent economic status.

Lake Wetlands

Currently, there are 8.5938 million hectares of lake wetlands in China. Lakes are a kind of surface water, a water body that has long occupied the closed depressions on land, and takes an active part in the hydrologic cycle in nature. The distribution of lakes has no zonal law to follow and is not limited by altitude, either. They can be distributed in any geographical or climatic zone on the earth’s surface, such as tropical, temperate and cold zones, in low-altitude strand plains and lowlands or in high-altitude plateaus and basins.

Marsh Wetlands

There are about 21.7329 million hectares in China, which are mainly distributed on Sanjiang Plain, Greater Khingan Mountains and Lesser Khingan Mountains, Zoige Plateau, shores, lakesides and river coasts, etc. The marsh wetlands are mainly woody marshes in mountainous areas and grassy marshes in plains.

Reservoir and Pond Wetlands

Reservoir and pond wetlands belong to artificial wetlands, which are mainly distributed in Northeast China, the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River and Guangdong, etc., with abundant water resources.



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