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NSC touts biodiversity in Taiwan's artificial wetlands

2011/05/01 15:52:09

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) Some areas of man-made wetlands in Taiwanhave contributed to biodiversity and the treatment of waste water,according to a study released recently by the National ScienceCouncil (NSC).

In a three-year project that began in 2008, the NSC found thattwo artificial wetlands along the Dahan River in northern Taiwan havehelped to increase the fauna by 27 times and have led to a 70 percentreduction of organic pollution of wastewater.

It was found that the wetlands had helped to attract 152 types ofinsects, 58 bird species, 34 types of aquatic invertebrates, eighttypes of amphibians and seven fish species during the three-yearperiod, the NSC said.

The study found that the numbers of birds and fishes hadincreased as the area of artificial wetlands expanded, while thenumber of aquatic invertebrates had grown with the spread ofvegetation cover.

"The functions of the two constructed wetlands and theirecological environment have become very similar to natural wetlandsas the food webs are becoming more complex, " said Lin Hsing-juh, aprofessor at National Chung Hsing University, who led project.

"As long as we maintain proper management, the constructedwetlands will become more efficient in treating wastewater andincreasing biodiversity," Lin said.

He added that the man-made wetlands, each 15,000 square meters,had also contributed to reducing the greenhouse effect, as they canabsorb 30 kilograms of carbon dioxide per day with the improvement ofthe water quality.

Lin suggested the government take care of the more than 100constructed wetlands around Taiwan to preserve the country's naturalresources and to provide more public recreational spaces.

(By Jeffrey Wu)