Synopsis of wetland functions and values: Bottomland hardwoods with special emphasis on eastern Texas and Oklahoma.




Wilkinson, D.L.
Schneller-McDonald, K.
Olson, R.W.
Auble, G.T.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Ecology Center


Balanced decisions regarding bottomland hardwoods are often hindered by a limited ability to accurately specify the functions being performed by these systems and, furthermore, by an inability to evaluate these functions in economic terms. This report addresses these informational needs. It focuses on the bottomland hardwoods of eastern Texas and Oklahoma, reviewing their major functions, and describing their climate, soils, water resources, historical perspective, vegetation, and fauna. The final section of the report deals with economic valuation of the functions of bottomland hardwoods and is introduced by a discussion of general concepts of value. Some of the confusion regarding wetland valuation stems from interpreting work that has been based on different theories of value (e.g., energy theory of value). The general types of human values associated with various funtions and attributes of bottomland hardwoods are summarized. Selected methods for quantifying these human values are then presented, followed by a discussion and several examples of specific valuations. The text of the report is supplemented by a computerized bibliographic data base of relevant articles. The data base includes abstracts and can be searched on the world-wide web at on the National Wetlands Inventory page.


132 p.


wetlands, flood control, habitat, hydrology, water quality, hardwoods, flooding, nutrients, detritus, sediment traps