Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wetland biomes


             Wetlands are areas of standing water that support aquatic plants. Marshes, swamps, and bogs are all considered wetlands. Plant species adapted to the very moist and humid conditions are called hydrophytes. These include pond lilies, cattails, sedges, tamarack, and black spruce. Marsh flora also include such species as cypress and gum. Wetlands have the highest species diversity of all ecosystems. Many species of amphibians, reptiles, birds (such as ducks and waders), and fur bearers can be found in the wetlands. Wetlands are not considered freshwater ecosystems as there are some, such as salt marshes, that have high salt concentrations—these support different species of animals, such as shrimp, shellfish, and various grasses.
              The wetland biome is one that many people don’t really see as being important. In fact, in many areas they consider it to be a nuisance. Swampland is the most common type of wetland biome you will find. They also include marshes and bogs and they can be various sizes. Some of them are very long and deep. Others are nothing more than a few feet of water in a given location but they are still very important.
             In a wetland biome the water is always going to be standing still. You will find them in many low lying areas. It is common for them to be very close to lakes, rivers, and streams. They may have water in them all the time or only during particular times of the year. That is a key factor that separates it from other forms of biomes. The combination of both land and water are essential for this biome to form.

              They help the environment to be better due to the fact that they have a natural supply of water. They help to prevent flooding in many locations as they are able to take on excess water from the other sources. However, when a river or lake is low they can also release water back into them. They also have the natural ability to purify surface water.

              Plant matter is released into freshwater biomes from a wetland biome. The importance of this is that it allows for fish to have plenty of types of food for them to survive. Florida has one of the largest wetland biomes in the world. The humid conditions are perfect for such forms of plant and animal life to be able to survive.

Characteristics

             In a wetland biome the conditions are always very moist and humid. What you will find with characteristics can be very specific to a given location. That is because the wetland biome is so frequently going to overlap with or be a part of other biomes out there. Without this particular one though many others wouldn’t be able to thrive as they do.

             The only places on Earth where you won’t find the wetlands biome are around the Artic. The tundra there is too cold and frozen for them to develop. Just about every other biome though is associated with them in some way. In fact, many times the wetland biome is overlooked by people due to where it happens to be located. Experts though know what to look for and have been able to fully identify them.

             Wetland biomes can be made up of freshwater or saltwater. In some regions they are actually a combination of both. The type of water that is found in it will strongly affect the types of life that are able to survive there. The delicate ecosystems in place around these areas are very detailed. When you take the time and effort to examine them closely you will be very surprised by what you find.

Flora and Fauna

             It may surprise you to discover that the wetland biome has more diversity than any other biome out there when it comes to animal life. There are plenty of animals that find this to be the perfect home for them. They have the right climate, access to food, and the shelter they need for survival. Amphibians and reptiles due very well in this type of environment. They include frogs and lizards.

             Birds are also found in this type of environment. Many of them live there all year long. Others will be there for part of the year and then migrate. There are also those that stop to feed along a route to a new location in the wetland biome. With some species of birds it is found that they move from one wetland biome to the next along their migration patterns.


               Alligators and crocodiles are the largest animals found in the wetland biome. In some wetland biomes there is salt content in the water. When that is the case you may find some more diversity in those locations. Those living creatures include shrimp and shellfish.
              Beavers, minks, and rats are the fur bearing creatures you may find around a wetland biome. The size of them and the location will depend on many factors. For the beaver it will be determined by if they have enough for food. They also need various materials to build a dam from for shelter.

              Plant life that grows in the wetland biome are referred to as hydrophytes. They include pond lilies, cattails, tamarack, and blue spruce. Sometimes cypress and gum will be present too but it will depend on the actual location of the habitat. There are numerous types of grasses that grow in a wetland biome. Sometimes shrubs with fruits including the cranberry can be found in these locations.