What are Wetlands? contain hydric soil - saturated by water. soil lacks oxygen when saturated land that is seasonally wet. habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial species. Some found only in wetlands. Wetland plants known as hydrophytes.
Formation of Wetlands Driven by location. Sediment deposited along river. Sediment deposited at the mouth of the river. Sediment fills in aging lakes. Artificial wetlands from oil sands. Effort to reclaim wetlands destroyed by mining for oil.
Types of Wetlands Marshes Bogs Swamps There are Three Major Types of Wetlands:
Types of Wetlands Marshes Bogs Swamps Open Water There are Four Major Types of Wetlands:
Palustrine (no waves) and Estuarine (tides/waves) Wetlands on Nonfederal Lands and Water Areas in 2002, in Millions of Acres, with Margins of Error Wetlands Type Acres Total Estuarine Wetlands (tides/waves) 5.8 ± 0.4 Palustrine Forested (swamp) 62.2 ± 1.3 Palustrine Scrub-shrub (swamp) 6.4± 0.5 Palustrine Emergent (marsh) 26.0± 0.8 Palustrine Non-vegetated (pond) 10.2± 0.6 Total Palustrine Wetlands104.8± 1.4 Total Palustrine and Estuarine Wetlands110.6± 1.4
Marshes areas where the soil is periodically or permanently flooded with water. dominated by soft stemmed grasses have shallow water. fiddlercrabs
Marshes Marsh plants: - cattails - rushes - bur weed - water lilies Marsh animals can be very diverse. - Green heron
Bogs Associated with evergreens Usually found in areas with short growing seasons and lower temperatures. pH less than 5
Bogs Little or no drainage Acidified by rotting vegetation, Some open water surrounded by a floating mat of sedges, sphagnum mosses, and other acid-loving species. A quagmire, which trembles or gives way underfoot.
Swamps dominated by trees and shrubs (woody plants) often occur along river floodplains, subtropical to tropical coasts and in quiet lakes. inhabited by an abundant variety of animals
Types of wetlands in the US Coastal/Tidal wetlands: salt water and fresh water mix due to tidal action. Found around the Gulf, Atlantic, Pacific and Alaskan coasts. Regional example is Jamaica Bay.
Types of wetlands in the US Inland wetlands: Include marshes, swamps, and wet meadows. Great Swamp in New Jersey.
Improves water quality. Reduces flood and storm damage. Regulates water levels in watersheds. Provides wildlife habitats Functions of Wetlands
Functions of Wetlands (con’t) Wetlands protect terrestrial areas adjoining them from storms, floods and tidal damage. Plants in wetlands help to filter pollutants in the water. Wetlands provide an excellent example of invasion, modification and succession.
WHAT DO WETLANDS PROVIDE? support more wildlife and plants than any other kind of habitat. Provide nesting and feeding grounds for both resident and migratory birds, including game bird, waterfowl, and songbirds.
Wetlands Supply habitat for 212 animals in Western Washington 285 species in the eastern region of the state. can produce up to 1,300 pounds of fish per acre.
Wetland serves as a home for many plants and animals, ranging from invertebrates, fishes, birds, to the endangered species such as Great Hornbill and wandering shrew. Biodiversity of Wetlands (Nattha) Arrowheads N. American River Otter Pickerel Weed Great Blue Heron Shrew Great Hornbill
It provides animals a variety of food as well as shelter to hide from their predators. Yellow Rat Snake Many plants and animals have adjusted themselves into the wet environment. Cricket Frog mudskipper Mangrove Bluegill Crayfish catfish
Plants cattail There are three types of plants in wetlands: the emergents, the submergents, and the floating plants Purple loosestrife bloodroot Yellow lotus pondweed coontail Skunk cabbage arrowhead duckweed
What happens to the wetlands? Some wetlands continue to exist but are degraded by the effects of fertilizers, pesticides, and oil runoff.
Destruction of wetlands: Intrusion of nonnative species Draining wetlands for agricultural purposes and mosquito control Dikes and dams to form ponds and lakes Pollution from landfills Removal of vegetation Air pollution
The Disappearing Wetlands loss of 70,000 - 90,000 acres per year in the U.S. (EPA) More than half have turned into land. Acres lost to new houses, businesses and farms.
1982 Report to Congress, re: 1950s to 1970s 9.2 million acres lost average annual loss of 458,000 acres 87 percent to agriculture. 1991 Report to Congress, re: 1970s to 1980s 2.6 million acres lost average annual loss of 290,000 acres agriculture largest single reason Recent report: Rate of wetland loss continues to decline. Fish & Wildlife Service: National Wetlands Inventory (NWI)
How it Affects the U.S Wetland lost -- -> increased salt levels The high amount of salt kills vegetation and trees.
How do Wetlands help? a key link in watershed management. protects water quality controls flooding serves as home for many plants and animals. economy has a significant connection to wetlands.
Efforts to Conserve Wetlands The Nature Conservancy Proposes: Rehabilitation Construction of new wetlands The U.S Army Corps of Engineers: issue permits to control activities in wetlands. minimize damage to wetlands.
Government Action to Preserve Wetlands The “No-Net-Loss” Plan (Dec. 2002)- for every acre of wetland lost, it would be replaced with an acre of artificial wetland.
Government Action & Effectiveness Section 404 of the Clean Water Act was enacted to control wetland development This law is not effective and has many loopholes. Few states have wetland programs No true national program to protect wetlands
Restoration Needed Wetlands are in poor conditions Man-made wetlands lack a rich biodiversity Need to restore to its natural state Restoration is a very long and complex process.
Bibliography Know Your Watershed http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/KYW/Brochures/Wetlands.html In Canada's Wilderness, Measuring the Cost of Oil Profits http://www.climateark.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=47064 Wetlands Losses in the United States 1780's to 1980's http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/wetloss/wetloss.ht m Wetland Loss Index 1780s-1990s http://www.epa.gov/iwi/1999sept/iv7_usmap.html Wetland Losses in the United States: Scope, Causes, Impacts, and Future Prospects http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/seminars/9777DD.html