Atlas of the Biosphere

Lakes and Wetlands

Home > Maps > Ecosystems > Lakes and Wetlands


Some of the worlds most threatened ecosystems are lakes and wetlands. Water has many interconnecting roles in the Earth system, and as such environmental problems tend to compound themselves in aquatic ecosystems.

Wetlands have been targeted for drainage throughout the years by land reclaimation projects. Only recently have the huge environmental benefits provided by wetlands been uncovered, and their preservation looked into. Some studies even suggest that the world's wetlands represent a larger carbon sink than do its forests. Wetlands also act as giant scrub brushes, cleaning pollutants from the water as it flows through them.

If you intend to use this dataset in any way, please contact it's creators who can be found on the web at this address .

Full Citation

Lehner, B., Döll, P. (2001): A global wetlands, lakes and reservoirs data set. Unpublished manuscript.

Download Images

Global | Asia | Africa | Europe | North America | Oceania | South America

(All images are provided at a resolution of 1600x1200 pixels)

Download Data

Download a GIS grid of this data (ESRI ArcView Format)


This dataset can be found in the following categories:

Ecosystems Ecosystems

Water Resources Water Resources