WhatisaWetland

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What is a Wetland? Any place that is regularly flooded with fresh, brackish, or salty water

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Water Not always wet Water levels change Permanent, seasonal, or temporary

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Completely dry Ephemeral pond

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Flooded seasonally

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Flooded by heavy rains or tides

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Shallow water Maximum depth (2 to 6 metres) Light penetrates Highly productive Often little or no water movement Ramsar definition includes rivers, lakes, and coral reefs

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Wetlands have hydric soils: Water fills the air space Oxygen-poor (anaerobic or anoxic) Gray in colour Unique aroma (“swamp gas”) Soft and unstable

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“Water-loving” plants (hydrophytes)

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Aerenchyma Cross section of the stem of an aquatic plant

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Fresh Brackish Salty “Super-salty” (hypersaline)

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Hydrology

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Wetlands have: Water for at least part of the year Water-logged (hydric) soils Specially-adapted plants (hydrophytes)

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