Swamps and Such. This video series from WOSU Public Media uses the example of a wetland to explain the structure and functions of ecosystems ...
Swamps and Such
Nature's Kidneys. Kidneys are the body’s natural filtering system. They are able to filter out waste and excess nutrients from the bloodstream. Wetlands do a similar function for the landscape. They are responsible for the filtration and purification of water that passes though them by trapping sediments thus giving plants and microorganisms a chance to biodegrade pollutants. Wetlands also serve as a temporary storage of water helping prevent flooding and promote groundwater recharge. Some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on earth can be found in wetlands.
Wetlands today are facing some serious problems. With increasing populations the need for land is growing and wetlands are often filled in for development purposes. When wetlands are lost to development projects, the ecosystem loses a natural process for cleaning water and preventing floods.