Abstract for F013


Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Arbustaies, marais d’eau douce et prairies humides des zones tempérée, boréale et arctique


Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland includes wet riparian and swamp shrublands, wet meadows, wet prairies, and shallow and deep emergent marshes on mucky, inundated or saturated soils across the mid-latitudes of the Northern and Southern hemispheres from 23 to 70 degrees. These wetlands have shallow water, with levels that usually fluctuate daily, seasonally or annually due to tides (freshwater tidal), flooding, evapotranspiration, groundwater recharge, or seepage losses. The vegetation is comprised of seasonal green emergent hydrophytic woody and herbaceous macrophytes with at least 10% cover, including graminoids such as rushes, reeds, grasses and sedges, other herbaceous species such as broad-leaved emergent forbs, and short to tall shrubs (primarily broad-leaved deciduous but some broad-leaved evergreen in warm-temperate regions). Associated with these plants are floating-leaved and submergent species, and nonvascular plants such as brown mosses, liverworts, and macroscopic algae. The vegetation is usually arranged in distinct zones of parallel or concentric patterns in response to gradients of water depth, frequency of drawdown, water chemistry or disturbance. Saline or brackish non-tidal marshes are excluded. Seasonal drawdowns may expose mudflats which are vegetated by pioneering herb and grass species. Plant communities of seasonal marshes are dynamic, shifting spatially with water levels and changing in composition over a short time. Communities of semipermanent marshes usually are more stable, represented by stands of reeds which may persist for many years in the absence of severe drought.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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