School of Biological Sciences | Universiti Sains Malaysia
The Wetlands Research Group has established a Centre for Wetlands Study (CEWES). Various aspects of wetland ecology, management and conservation are being studied at the local level as well as carrying out regional/international collaborations. The disruption of natural biological and ecological cycles of wetland ecosystems will consequently affect the species diversity and richness especially endemic species. The disturbances of wetland ecosystems have increased the possible threat of weed invasions and the severe destruction to the survivability of endemic species. CEWES is looking at the overall wetland biodiversity and the invasion of alien plants especially of some noxious weedy species such as Mimosa pigra, Eichhornia crassipes and Hydrilla verticilata. The utilization of riverine vegetation in river conservation and restoration is also an area that is being highlighted. Fish and insects diversity and ecology are also of special interests to CEWES and these involve ecosystems such as the rice fields, peatlands, freshwater lakes, dams, swamps and rivers. CEWES also receives some funding from the European Commission (EC), which is used to survey the Kalimantan peat swamp area with University of Nottingham, UK, University of Hokkaido, Japan, University of Palangka Raya, Indonesia and University of Helsinki, Finland. The peat swamp of Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia are also intensively studied by the group. Important conferences have been organized by this group, namely the Tropical Peatland and Asian Wetland conferences. One of the most important issues being explored presently by CEWES is integrating wetland management and wise use into river basin management as the success of preserving an ecosystem and its functions and processes depends upon a holistic ecosystem approach. The group is also assisting the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOSTE) in safeguarding, conservation, protection and restoration of wetlands.
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