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Wetlands - Page Text Content

FC: Wetlands | Akeeba Wright

1: Wetlands Akeeba Wright November 7, 2011 Jay M. Robinson Earth & Environmental Science Mrs.Knight

2: Marshes are wetlands in which vegetation is dominated by tall grass-like plants. Marshes are important because they recharge groundwater supplies, moderate stream flow by providing water to streams, and helps reduce damage caused by floods by slowing and storing flood water. There are two main different types of marshes: tidal and non-tidal. | Tidal marshes are very important because they buffer stormy seas, slow shoreline erosions, and are able to absorb excess nutrients before they can reach the oceans and estuaries. Tidal marshes are characterized by short smooth cordgrass, spike grass, and black grass. Most tidal marshes consist of freshwater, while some others are brackish and saline. In these marshes is where where you would find plants like lily pads, cattails, reeds and bulrushes. Many animals such as frog, turtle, duck, egrets, heron, hawks, muskrat, mink, otter, and in some regions alligator live in these marshes. Tidal marshes are normally found along protected coastlines in the middle and high altitudes all over the world. Most likely found on the eastern coast from Maine to FLorida and further on to Louisiana and Texas, along the Gulf of Mexico. Tidal marshes have suffered major losses from pollution , which is a serious threat. Most states have enacted special laws to protect these marshes.

3: Non-tidal marshes are important because they help to reduce damage caused by floods by slowing and storing flood water.. Non-tidal marshes are characterized by its mineral rich soils of sand, silt, and clay, which underlie these marshes. Most non-tidal marshes are freshwater, but some are brackish or alkaline. These marshes are normally the habitat for clams, crabs, shrimp and juvenile fish like trout and serves as a resting site for several other species. Non-tidal marshes are the most widely distributed wetlands in North America. They are frequently found along streams and boundaries of lakes, ponds, and rivers. Prairie potholes, playa lakes, vernal pools and wet meadows are all examples of non-tidal marshes. Non_tidal marshes have suffered major loss. Some have been degraded by excessive deposits of nutrients and sediments from construction and farming.

4: Swamps are important because they provide flood protection and take part in nutrient removal. Swamps are cut in two categories: forested and shrub. | Shrub swamps are formed by slow moving streams and flood plains. These swamps are characterized by saturated soils during growing season and standing water certain times of the year. Shrub swamps are covered by a few feet of water. They are dominated by grass, algae, reeds, and many types of shrubs. Common shrubs found are Buttonbush, Willow, Dogwood, and Swamp Rose. An example of a shrub swamp would be the Mangrove swamp. Mangrove swamps cover vast expanses of southern Florida.

5: Forested swamps are formed by flood water and nearby rivers and streams. Forested swamps are covered by many feet of standing water. They are characterized by many trees and are often covered by layer of old leaves. These swamps are mostly dominated by the bald cypress and tupelo gum trees. Some common tree species that are found in these wetlands are Red Maple, Pin Oak, Overcup Oak, Willows and Western Hemlocks. This type of swamp provides homes for deer, beaver, otter, muskrat, fox, black bear, frogs, snakes, turtles, and large variety of snakes. More specific species like Wood Ducks, River Otters and Cottonmouth Snakes live here. An example of these swamps would be the Bottomland Hardwood swamp.

6: Bogs are important because they prevent downstream flooding by absorbing precipitation; they also support the some of the most interesting plants in the U.S. and provide homes for animals threatened by humans. Bogs are formed from precipitation, groundwater and streams and high humidity. Bogs are characterized by spongy peat deposits, acidic waters, and a floor covered of sphagnum moss. They are also characterized by the still cool air, the dried blood colored water, and a that trembles beneath your feet. A bogs characteristics would make it seem like an eerie place. Bogs provide for snapping turtles, frogs, moose, deer, lynx, insects and birds such as wood warblers and swamp sparrows. Mammals like snowshoe hares, beavers, muskrats, and bog lemmings live here. Also plant species like cotton grass, cranberry, blueberry, pine, Labrador tea, and tamarack are found here. Bogs are found in the northern states and on the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Virginia to northern Florida, though most are found in North Carolina.

9: Fens are important because they prevent and reduce the risk of floods, improve water quality and provide habitat for unique plants and animals. Fens are formed through drainage from surrounding mineral soils and groundwater. Fens are mostly characterized by grasses, sedges, rushes and wildflowers, but some are characterized by parallel ridges of vegetation separated by less productive hollows. Fens are found in the northeastern United States, the Great Lakes region, the Rocky Mountains, and much of Canada.

10: A wetland is a large body of water that stays in that specific area for a long period of time. This can contain vegetation life and plants to help support the different types of animal species that live there. The different types of wetlands are, swamps, marshes, bogs and fens.

11: Wetlands provide and important habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals. However, wetlands are disappearing rapidly for agricultural, urbanization, and industrial purposes. The consequences of these human acts are endangerment of natural wetland ecosystems, endangerment of their species of plants and animals, as well as the loss of the many important services wetlands can provide. Special laws, acts, and private organizations have been created to help protect existing wetland ecosystems all over the world. | Protect Our Wetlands

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