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WETLANDS

TYPES OF WETLANDS

WETLANDS FUNCTIONS

WETLANDS LOSS

WETLANDS RECOVERY

WETLANDS RESOURCES

TYPES OF

WETLANDS

Marshland - click to enlarge picture Aerial view of massive wetlands system Bayou swamp


What exactly are wetlands? 

Good question, because there are quite a few definitions.

Basically, a wetland is land that is covered with water or land that has water near the surface long enough to keep the soil very moist (waterlogged) so it can grow and support aquatic type plants.

Wetlands can also include land that is covered with water or is saturated with water only part of the year, but has no vegetation because of poor soil, no soil, too much salt, drastic changes in water level, or strong wave action.  These lands may be next to vegetated wetland or deepwater habitats, such as around lakes and along rivers.


There are three key elements which identify wetlands:
 

Hydrophytes
Aquatic plants
which grow in water or in soil too waterlogged for most plants to survive
 
Hydric soils
Soils
with an abundance of moisture
 
Hydrology
Water
distribution and circulation on and below the earth's surface and in the atmosphere.


5 MAJOR
WETLAND CLASSIFICATIONS


Aerial view showing the 5 major classifications of wetlands

1. Marine Associated with the open ocean and high-energy coastline waters
(includes coastal wetlands, such as tidal marshes)
 
2. Estuarine Consisting of deepwater tidal habitats and adjacent tidal wetlands that, at times, have access to the open ocean; occasionally diluting sea water with freshwater runoff.
3. Riverine
 
Found along rivers and streams
4. Lacustrine
 
Associated with lakes
5. Palustrine
 
May be isolated or connected wet areas, including marshes, swamps, and bogs 

 
The above descriptions are very general. 
Specific descriptions of classifications may be found on the USGS and EPA links below.

 

Wetland supporting a variety of species


Various Names for Types of Wetland Areas


Bog

Fen

Cypress swamp

Gulf

Estuary
Peatland Pond Prairie pothole Salt marsh Vernal pool
Mangrove Riparian area Brackish marsh Tundra Spong
Baylands Pocosin Wet meadow Lagoon Stream
Taiga River Hardwood swamp Lake Saltflat
Seep Slough Freshwater marsh Floodplain Creek
Channel Wet pasture Intertidal mudflats Spring Reservoir

I'll look it up in these resource linksIs this a bog or a swamp or a marsh?      I don't care as long as it's wet!

"Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States" (systems and subsystems)
To begin, click "Next Section--Marine System"
U.S. Geological Survey-Northern Prairie Research Center (includes illustrations)

Wetlands  (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Definitions/identification of wetlands, types, status, facts, reasons to protect them, functions/values, fish and wildlife, flood protection, shoreline erosion, water quality and hydrology, threats, economics, recreation and aesthetics, watershed planning, water quality standards, Clean Water Act, 404 permitting, financial assistance, mitigation, monitoring and assessment, restoration, awards, grants - and what you can do to protect wetlands.

Mind - Boggler


There are many names for various types of wetlands, depending upon the environment a wetland is in,  the type of climate in the area, the type of vegetation that grows there, the level of the water, the types of animals it supports, whether the water is permanent or only there part of the year, the type of soil, and other variations related to region and local terms.   A bog in one area could contain different types of plants than a bog in another area, depending on variances such as climate, for instance. 


Therefore, the two definitions of those bogs
would not exactly agree with each other.

 Might as well learn about wetlands while I'm flying.
 Click on our goose friend and catch a ride to the next page
to learn why wetlands are so important.

Mouse over images on the website to see messages - if you see a hand, click on it.
 

WETLANDS

TYPES OF WETLANDS

WETLANDS FUNCTIONS

WETLANDS LOSS

WETLANDS RECOVERY

WETLANDS RESOURCES


 


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