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Wetlands. Section 1.4 of text. Wetland definition: transitional zones between land and water Shallow ecosystem in which the land surface is saturated or submerged at least part of the year. Wetland features: 1. contains unique soil called “ hydric soil”

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wetlands

Wetlands

Section 1.4 of text

slide2

Wetland definition:

  • transitional zones between land and water
  • Shallow ecosystem in which the land surface is saturated or submerged at least part of the year
slide3

Wetland features:

1. contains unique soil called “hydric soil”

hydric soil – soil formed under water that has anaerobic conditions

hydrophytes – plants adapted to an aquatic environment; must tolerate lack of oxygen in the soil

slide5

2. Biologically diverse

3. Occupy less than 5% of the US

4. estimated 1/3 of endangered species spend part of their lives in wetlands.

slide6

How Wetlands are Described?

Wetlands are described by their vegetation

1. BOGS – soil is deep layers of partially decayed vegetation called peat

very acidic

low DO levels (very little water movement)

little amounts of fish

home to many amphibians

slide8

SWAMPS – forested wetlands; trees and bushes are dominant plant

  • classified by type of dominant tree present
          • Conifers swamps – pine, spruce, etc
          • Hardwood swamps – maple, birch, oak, etc
  • standing water up to 5 or 6 ft
  • animals are amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals
slide10

3. FRESHWATER MARSH– forms at mouth of a river or areas of poor drainage

soil is nutrient rich (from upstream erosion)

vegetation – grasses, sedges, bulrushes, cattails

animals same as in swamps

slide12

PA Wetlands

  • 1.4% of state
  • 4000 restored since 1990
  • 3 recognized wetland types in PA:
  • Forested (54%)
  • trees more than 20 ft above ground
  • Scrub – shrub (33%)
  • plants less than 20 ft
  • Emergent (13%)
  • marshy areas; plants rooted in soil
  • and emerge above the water level
slide13

Why are Wetlands Important?

1. Habitat

2. Serve as Food Factories

3. Spawning (reproducing) grounds

4. Cycling Nutrients such as carbon, oxygen, phosphorus and nitrogen

5. Buffer Zone

6. Pollution Control

slide14

Factors that effect wetlands and watersheds

½ of the 220 million acres of US wetlands lost over past 400 yrs.

Human Activities:

Agriculture

Urbanization and construction

mining

industry

waste disposal

slide15

Natural Events:

Floods

Erosion and Deposition

Droughts

Volcanic Eruptions

Fires

Wind

Global Climate Change

slide16

Actions to help watersheds in Pennsylvania:

  • PA ReLeaf Program – started in 1997
  • (trees along PA streams)
  • Objectives:
        • Restore streamside buffers
        • Conserve current streamside buffers
        • Public education
        • Public awareness
        • Collect data on streamside buffers
slide17

PA Watershed Education Programs

Sponsored by PA State parks

Jennings!

Suburban Swamps

Best –practices approach :

preservation of open spaces in urban areas