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Inland Wetlands (Non-Tidal)

Unlike coastal wetlands, inland wetlands are not affected by tides. However, they can be either fresh water or salt water. Inland wetlands are often found on river floodplains, in depressions, along the edges of lakes and ponds, and in other low-lying areas. Wetlands provide resting, feeding, and breeding areas for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, habitat for fish and wildlife, and outdoor recreation. Wetland ecologists study ecological processes, structure and function of different types of wetlands, develop ecosystem simulation models, and investigate the restoration potential of wetlands.

inland marsh Calopogon tuberosus Jean Lafitte NP freshwater marsh plain China freshwater wetland Mandeville, LA

Inland Marshes and Wet Meadows

This type of wetland is saturated with water much of the time. Vegetation is characterized by emergent and soft-stemmed plants such as grasses, sedges, bulrushes, and cattails. There are many flowering plants. Animals include marsh wrens, pintail ducks, bullfrogs, dragonflies, and mosquitoes. These wetlands occur throughout the United States.

inland marsh Aransas NWR inland freshwater wetland Terrebonne Parish

Forested Wetlands

Soils are often waterlogged in winter and early spring with fresh water, but can be dry during the summer. Most vegetation consists of trees. Black spruce are found in northern forested bogs or fens, while baldcypress are found in southern forested swamps. Northern forested wetlands provide a home to woodpeckers, wood ducks, moose, and snowshoe hares. Southern forested wetlands provide habitat for raccoons, opossums, and alligators. Forested wetlands usually accumulate dead organic material called peat. They are found in many areas of the United States.

freshwater forested wetland Terrebonne Parish baldcypress swamp Tensas NWR baldcypress tupelo swamp Big Thicket NP baldcypress swamp Lake Martin, LA

Shrub Wetlands

These wetlands contain fresh water with woody vegetation less than 6 meters (less than 20 feet) in height, such as wax myrtle and buttonbush. Red-winged blackbirds, mice, and muskrats live in shrub wetlands. This is one of the most widespread wetland types in the United States and is very important to the riparian zones. Shrub wetlands occur primarily along rivers and streams and along lakes and reservoirs.

shrub wetland Pantenal Brazil

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