Bogs and fens

a bog is a freshwater wetland usually formed in the old glacial lake with a spongy peat base. other characteristics of bog include growth of evergreen trees and shrubs and the floor covered by thick carpet of sphagnum moss

Most of the bog water comes from rain. they are usually found in glaciated areas of the northern united states of America

one type of bog, called a pocosin, is found only in the southeastern coastal plain

A fen is a freshwater peat wetland covered chiefly by grasses, sedges, and reeds of high PH (alkaline) groundwater. fens are covered by grasses, sedges, reeds and wildflowers. fens like bogs, tend to occur in glaciated areas of the northern united states of America and other parts of the northern pole areas

The soil in bogs is low in nutrients.


these are areas with shallow water that are mostly grasslands.

Marshes can be freshwater or saltwater, and the marshes’ water can also change without tides.

Freshwater marshes have soft-stemmed and herbaceous plants like grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers.

Marshes are home to animals including beavers, alligators, and newts. Marshes have soil that is low in mineral content.

They can be found along edges of lakes, rivers, and along the coastline, inlets and estuaries. 

marshes can be categorized as tidal marshes and non tidal marshes

tidal (coastal) marshes

these occur along coastlines and are influenced by tides and often by freshwater from runoff, rivers or groundwater.

salt marshes are the most prevalent types of tidal marshes and are characterized by salt-tolerant plants such as smooth cord, grass, and grassworts

according to the salinity of the flooding water, freshwater, brackish and saline tidal marshes are distinguished

tidal marshes can be categorized into coastal marshes and estuarine marshes

non-tidal (inland) marshes

are marshes dominated by herbaceous plants and frequently occur in poorly drained depressions, floodplains and shallow water areas along the edges of lakes and rivers

major regions of the united states of America that support inland marshes include the great lakes coastal marshes, the prairies pothole region, and Florida everglades


these are slow-moving streams, rivers, or isolated low-lying areas with more open and deeper water than marshes.

in other words, swamp Is a shallow body of water in a low-lying area, which is poorly drained. They usually have a variety of tree species such as cypress. Swamps act as a sponge because runoff can be temporarily stored in them

Plants found in the swamps include trees such as cypress trees in freshwater swamps and mangroves in saltwater swamps.

Swamps have more woody shrubs than grasses and herbs. Swamps are found in low-lying areas near rivers or coastal areas. Swamps soil is poorly drained and waterlogged.

A swamp is any wetland dominated by woody plants.    There are many different kinds of swamps, ranging from the forested Red Maple, (Acer rubrum), swamps of the Northeast, to the extensive bottomland hardwood forests found along the sluggish rivers of the Southeast

swamps are characterized by

  • saturated soils during growing seasons
  • standing water during certain times of the year

some swamps are dominated by shrubs, such as button bush or smooth alders.

plants birds, fish, and invertebrates such as freshwater shrimps, crayfish, and clams require the habitats provided by swamps

many swamps occur along large rivers, where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations

types of swamps

forested swamps

these are found in broad floodplains and receive flood waters from nearby rivers and streams

common deciduous trees found in these areas include bald cypress, water tupelo, swamp white oak and red maple

shrub swamps

these are also called scrub swamps or buttonbush swamps they are type of freshwater wetland ecosystem.

they occur in areas too wet to become hardwood swamps (forested swamps) but too dry or too shallow to become marshes

shrub swamps are similar to forested swamps except that shrubs by species like buttonbush and swamp rose dominate


this refers to a habitat comprised of a number of halophytic (salt-tolerant) plant species of which there are more than 12 families and 50 species worldwide.

mangrove grows in intertidal or estuarine areas

importance of swamps

  • swamps help to maintain water quality by removing and retaining nutrients and processing chemical and organic wastes such as urban pollutants and agricultural chemicals
  • filter pollution
  • prevent erosion and flooding
  • habitat for animals
  • provide food
  • recreation
  • research and education


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