The comparative biodiversity of seven globally important wetlands: A synthesis

Wolfgang J. Junk, Mark Brown, Ian C. Campbell, Colin Finlayson, Brij Gopal, Lars Ramberg, Barry G. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

119 Citations (Scopus)


The species diversity data of seven globally important wetlands (Canadian peatlands, Florida Everglades, Pantanal, Okavango Delta, Sundarban, Tonle Sap and Kakadu National Park) were compared. The available data for most groups of lower plants and animals are insufficient for a comparative analysis. Data on vertebrates and higher plants are more complete and show high species diversity. The large habitat diversity allows the coexistence of amphibious species with many immigrants from connected deepwater and terrestrial habitats. Several of these immigrant species find an important permanent refuge in the wetlands; some use the wetlands as periodic habitats. All wetlands are important habitats for long-distance migratory bird species. The species composition reflects the biogeography of the respective regions, e.g. the hight diversity of large ungulates characteristic for Africa is also found in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and the high fish species diversity typical for South America is also reflected in the Pantanal in Brazil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-414
Number of pages15
JournalAquatic Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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