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Different types of wetland

Bog

Acidic; fed only or mostly by preciptation; poor in nutrients.
Two types of bog in North America:
Northern bog — cold, short growing season, ample rain, high humidity;
— mostly formed from old glacial lakes;
— Canada; Great Lakes regions (Minnesota and Michigan) in US.
Southern bog — also called Pocosin or dismal;
— dominanted by evergreen shrubs and trees;
— formed from the freshwater lakes when Atlantic Ocean receded;
— coastal southereastern region in US, mostly in North Carolina.

Fen

Alkaline (pH 7.4-8); fed by mineral-rich basic groundwater; more nutrients than bog.
Dominated by grasses, sedges, wildflowers etc.
Depending on conditions, a fen can develop into other types of wetland:
— a bog: build up peat separate the fen from its groundwater source, it turns acidic in a rainy climate;
— a freshwater marshland: when it develops toward the direction of grassland;
— a swamp (or carr): when it is overgrown with small trees.

Swamp

Can be quite acidic; fed by river, lake or stream; nutrient-rich soil; deeper water than marsh.
Usually in the warmer climate of southeastern US. A carr is the northern European equivalent of a swamp.
Has highly diverse vegetation:
Forest swamp : dominated by trees;
Shrub swamp : dominated by shrubs.

Marsh

pH neutral; fed by surface or ground water; plenty nutrients; open fen with shallow water.
Has only low-growing plants such as grasses, reeds and sedges etc.
Coastal (salt) marsh: provides habitat for plants and animals adapted to saline conditions;
Freshwater marsh.


Two primary methods of forming a bog:

Terrestrialization

Sphagnum moss grows over a lake or a pond and fills it slowly.

Paludification

Sphagnum moss covers dry land and prevents water from leaving the surface.




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