Many endangered plant and animal species are dependent on wetland habitats for their survival. Like most peatlands, fens experienced a decline in acreage at a rate of about eight percent from 1950 to 1970, mostly from mining and draining for cropland, fuel and fertilizer. The saline marsh is covered by water only sporadically and is characterized by Short Smooth Cordgrass, Spike Grass and Saltmeadow Rush (Juncus gerardii). We have divided marshes into two primary categories: non-tidal and tidal. They provide habitat for rare and commercially important plants, fish and animals. Fish and Wildlife Service for the National Wetlands Inventory. Specifically, wetlands are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface for a long enough period each year to support aquatic plants. The hydrogeomorphic (HGM) includes five major wetland types: riverine, slope depressional, flat and fringe. They are common where water and land meet. These natural fires occur because pocosins periodically become very dry in the spring or summer. There are many different kinds of marshes, ranging from the prairie potholes to the Everglades, coastal to inland, freshwater to saltwater. Our wetlands provide valuable service to Delaware. Habitat is the most valuable function of Pocosins. Recently, bogs have been recognized for their role in regulating the global climate by storing large amounts of carbon in peat deposits. Wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes: (1) at least periodically, the land supports predominantly hydrophytes, (2) the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil, and (3) the substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing sea- son of each year. Nevertheless, bogs support a number of species of plants in addition to the characteristic Sphagnum Moss, including Cotton Grass, Cranberry, Blueberry, Pine, Labrador Tea and Tamarack. Fens, like bogs, are peatlands, but because they are fed by groundwater they are not so acidic as bogs. Wetlands are found along waterways and in floodplains. A wetland is simply an area of land that is wet during the growing season. It is important to recognize that while mining and draining these ecosystems provide resources for people, up to 10,000 years are required to form a fen naturally. An example of a cropland wetland type is Farmed Wetlands (FW). … Wetlands are highly productive and biologically diverse systems that enhance water quality, control erosion, maintain stream flows, sequester carbon, and provide a home to at least one third of all threatened and endangered species. Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) next to its house in a cattail-dominated marsh. Therefore, most bogs in the United States are found in the northern states. The Cowardin system includes five major wetland types: marine, tidal, lacustrine, palustrine and riverine. The presence of marshes in a watershed helps to reduce damage caused by floods by slowing and storing flood water. Depending on the type of wetland, it may be filled mostly with trees, grasses, shrubs or moss. One commonly used classification system for wetlands was developed by Cowardin and is described in Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. The full range of wetland functions and values are covered. precipitation, groundwater or surface water) and hydrodynamics. These resources include wetlands, fertile soils, rare and endangered plants and animals, and sites of archaeological and historical significance. Pollution, especially near urban areas, also remains a serious threat to these ecosystems. Bogs are unique communities that can be destroyed in a matter of days but require hundreds, if not thousands, of years to form naturally. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Fens, are peat-forming wetlands that receive nutrients from sources other than precipitation: usually from upslope sources through drainage from surrounding mineral soils and from groundwater movement. They commonly occur in wooded areas, pastures, hayfields, cropland, and odd areas around the farm. The Corps of Engineers uses three characteristics of wetlands when making wetland determinations: vegetation, soil and hydrology. This realization has spurred enhanced protection and restoration of marsh ecosystems, such as the prairie potholes and the Everglades. Like bogs, fens are mostly a northern hemisphere phenomenon -- occurring in the northeastern United States, the Great Lakes region, the Rocky Mountains and much of Canada -- and are generally associated with low temperatures and short growing seasons, where ample precipitation and high humidity cause excessive moisture to accumulate. Saline marshes support a highly specialized set of life adapted for saline conditions. Paving or agricultural uses, for example, affect the amount and quality of water that reaches adjacent wetlands. The saturation may be relatively constant at the edge of a river or other permanent body of water like a lake. It integrates digital map data along with other resource information to produce current information on the status, extent, characteristics and functions of wetlands, riparian, and deepwater habitats. The Wetlands mapper is designed to deliver easy-to-use, map like views of America’s Wetland resources. Nutrients are plentiful and the pH is usually neutral leading to an abundance of plant and animal life. As a result, they are a haven for species adapted to living in unaltered forests. Sometimes, they are covered by many feet of very slowly moving or standing water. Because of the large historical loss of this ecosystem type, remaining fens are that much more rare, and it is crucial to protect them. 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