NANFA-- wetland losses/was nanfa V1 #1505

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Tue, 31 Dec 2002 11:55:57 -0600

>>>I was wondering if anyone knows how much wetlands have been lost in the
country so far...<<<

For the lower Mississippi Basin, here are estimates of some wetland habitats
at high river stage. Numbers are for total area(ha):

Prior to Human Modification Present

Slough 60,000 24,500
Oxbow lake 37,500 12,500
floodplain 4 million 600,000
Floodplain pond 10,000 < 1,000
Borrow pits --- 17,000

Source: Baker, J.A., K.J. Killgore, and R.L. Kasul. 1991. Aquatic habitats
and fish communities in the Lower Mississippi River. Rev.s Aquat. Sci.s
3(4): 313-356.

Notice that the greatest percent loss is for the least extensive (in terms
of total area) and smallest (<< 500 m2) type of wetland: floodplain ponds.
Baker et al. note that "Floodplain ponds support what is undoubtedly the
most unusual fish community of all river habitats." Interestingly, all of
the fish species characteristic of floodplain ponds can be found in a
man-made but functionally similar type of wetland: borrow pits.
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,