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Montane Wetlands. By Jacob Wigginton. What is a montane wetland ?. Montane means of mountains High altitude pulustrine wetlands with emergent vegetation. How do montane wetlands compare to prairie potholes?. Similar yet contrasting wetlands. Similarities. Pulustrine Similar in appreance

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montane wetlands

Montane Wetlands

By

Jacob Wigginton

what is a montane wetland
What is a montane wetland?
  • Montane means of mountains
  • High altitude pulustrine wetlands with emergent vegetation
slide4

Similarities

  • Pulustrine
  • Similar in appreance
  • Some are created by a similar glacial process
  • provide important habitat for water fowl
slide5

Differences

  • Montane wetlands are typically less disturbed
  • Montane wetlands are still dominated by native vegetation
  • Montane wetlands almost always have enough rainfall to acommidate ducks and geese
  • They also differ in soil types making the vegetation very different
  • Succession happens much slower in montane wetlands
  • Montane wetlands do not have as many high concentrations of waterfowl
slide6

What different types on montane wetlands are there?

  • Intermountain Basin Wetlands
  • Beaver ponds
  • Glacial Ponds
  • Montane Depression Wetlands
  • Montane woodland seeps
slide7

Intermountain Basin Wetland

  • Flat or rolling areas created by tectonic and volcanic action
  • Thick underlying layers of alluvial material eroded from the mountains
  • High water tables are recharged in the spring by impoundments and artesian flow
slide8

Plants of intermountain basin wetlands

Monument

Plant

Mint

Arrow Grass

Additional Species

Black greesewood, saltgrasses, wheatgrass, bluegrass, sedges, rushes, sage brush, rabbit brush

slide9

Waterfowl of intermountain basins

Canada Goose

Cinnamon teal

  • Additional species
  • Gadwall, Northern Pintails, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, and Lesser Scaulp
slide10

Invertebrates of Intermountain basins

Odonate larvae

Freshwater Shrimp

Midges

Diptera

slide11

Beaver Ponds

  • mid-elevation on gradients less than 15%
  • Water levels maintained by percipitation and run off
  • Nutrients sinks trapping organic matter and sediments
  • Ideal waterfowl breeding area
slide12

Waterfowl of beaver ponds

Barrow’s Goldeneye

Bufflehead

Additional species

Gadwalls, ring-necked ducks

slide13

Plants of Beaver ponds

Wild Licorice

Alder

Additional Species

Flooded willows, sedges, burreeds

slide14

Invertebrates of Beaver Ponds

Gastropods

Caddisflies

Dragonflies

Freshwater shrimp

slide15

Glacial Ponds

  • Formed either behind moraines or by a glacial process similar to the prairie potholes
  • Only occur in mountains and prairies
  • Only water sources are summer percipitation and spring runoff
  • Very old wetlands, peat accumulations in some are 7,000 years old
  • Although absence of fish competition allows an abundant invertebrate population landscape makes it a difficult habitat for some birds
slide16

Waterfowl of glacial ponds

Ring-necked Duck

Gadwall

Additional Species

Bufflehead, Barrow’s Goldeneye

slide17

Plants of glacial ponds

Southern Maidenhair fern

scouring rush

Additional species

Pondweeds, watermilfoils, cowlilies

slide18

Invertebrates of Glacial Ponds

Dragonfly

Caddisfly larvae

Misquitos

Coleoptera

slide19

Montane Depression Wetlands

  • Saturated, seasonally and semipermanently flooded vegetation
  • Occur in the eastern U.S.
  • Prononced seasonal water fluctuations
  • Important breeding habitat for amphibians and odonates
slide20

Plants of montane depression wetlands

3-way sedge

Winter berry

common green brier

High-bush

Blueberry

Additional Species

Virginia sneezwart, Virginia quillwort, St. John’s Wart, Robbins’ Spikerush, Black-fruited Spikerush

slide22

Amphibians of montane depression wetlands

Salamander Eggs

Tiger Salamander

Spotted Salamander

Additional species

Jefferson’s salamander, four-toed salamander, marbled salamander, wood frogs, Upland Chorus frog

slide23

Invertebrates of montane depression wetlands

Crayfish

Odonate Larvae

Freshwater shrimp

slide24

Montane woodland seeps

  • Saturated herbacous wetlands
  • Occur in sinkholes or on steep, bouldered slopes at the site of water discharge
  • Western Virginia mountains
  • Above 2500 ft.
slide25

Plants of montane woodland seeps

watercarpet

Oswego-tea

marsh blue violet

Additional Species

Cut-leaved coneflower, spotted jewelweed,

Rough golden rod, golden rag wart, American false-hellbore, marsh marigold, bluejoint reedgrass

white turtle head

slide26

Threats to montane wetlands

  • Proposed changes to the Clean Water Act
  • Overgrazing of Elk
  • Invasive Species
slide27

Clean Water Act Changes

  • Before the Clean water act only a third of the nations waters were safe and clean
  • Now half are clean and safe
  • Redefining wetlands to exclude montane wetlands would be a step in the wrong direction
  • Changes would leave Colorado with only fifteen miles of protected water
slide28

Overgrazing by Elk

This increase in has caused the problem of overgrazing of riparian vegetation in the Rocky Mountain region

In the 1960’s a policy of natural regulation which has led to an upsurge in the Elk population.

slide29

Invasive plant species of montane wetlands

lepidium latifolium

pittosporum_undulatum

Russian olive

slide30

Introduce trout

Brook trout

Brown Trout

tadpoles

slide32

Criteria for selecting wetlands of importance

  • Area that provides habitat for rare or endemic species
  • Area of rich biota
  • Area which provides habitat for considerable numbers of a specific species
  • Area that is indespensible in the life history of an organism