“If rainforests and tropical forests are the lungs of the Earth, then surely wetlands function as its kidneys.” Which one of the following functions of wetlands best reflects the above statements?

(a). The water cycle in wetlands involves surface runoff, subsoil percolation and evaporation.

(b). Algae from the nutrient base upon which fish, crustaceans, molluscs, birds, reptiles and mammals thrive.

(c). Wetlands play a vital role in maintaining sedimentation balance and soil stabilization.

(d). Aquatic plants absorb heavy metals and excess nutrients.

Explanation

The statement “If rainforests and tropical forests are the lungs of the Earth, then surely wetlands function as its kidneys” implies that wetlands play a crucial role in filtering and purifying the Earth’s water systems. Among the given options, the one that best reflects this statement is:

(d). Aquatic plants absorb heavy metals and excess nutrients.

To further explain each option:

(a). The water cycle in wetlands involves surface runoff, subsoil percolation, and evaporation.

  • Wetlands store water and slowly release it, reducing flood heights and allowing for groundwater recharge.
  • They help maintain stream flow during dry periods.

(b). Algae form the nutrient base upon which fish, crustaceans, molluscs, birds, reptiles, and mammals thrive.

  • Wetlands provide habitats for a diverse range of species, including fish, amphibians, shellfish, insects, birds, and mammals.
  • They are among the world’s most productive environments, supporting countless species of plants and animals.

(c). Wetlands play a vital role in maintaining sedimentation balance and soil stabilization.

  • They trap sediments and retain excess nutrients and other pollutants, protecting water quality.
  • Wetlands located beside lakes, rivers, bays, and the ocean protect shorelines from damaging erosion.

Learn more

  • Wetlands improve water quality by removing pollutants through physical, chemical, and biological processes.
  • They recharge groundwater supplies and control floods.
  • Wetlands provide recreational opportunities, such as birdwatching, fishing, and boating.
  • They sequester carbon, helping to mitigate climate change.
  • Wetlands are home to at least one-third of all threatened and endangered species.
  • They provide natural products, such as timber, fish, and medicinal plants.

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