Wetland Biome Facts
Wetland Biome Description
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.
|Climate||Vary depending on the location: −58 °F, 51 °F or 122 °F.|
|Plants||Water plants, trees, mangrove and shrubs.|
|Animals||Amphibians, Alligators, turtles, snakes, Insects.|
|Location||On every continent except Antarctica.|
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.
Louisiana has long been a home for various wetland biomes. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina has destroyed many of these areas. The changes in the environment proved to be too much for them to fully recover from. In some areas they are slowly recovering but only time will tell how it turns out. Protecting the wetland biomes has to be a priority though due to the fact that they are so important to those other biomes around them.
Wetland Biome 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.
Wetland Biome 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.
Threats and Conservation
Many wetland biomes are severely threatened though. Most humans fail to realize just how beneficial they are to the environment. As a result, they end up trying to destroy them and then build on those areas. In fact, some refer to the wetlands as the wastelands. They are often drained and then used for other purposes. Not thoughts are given to the forms of plant and animal life that reside in them.
Global warming has also lead to many wetland biomes drying up. The additional heat combined with less rainfall often means that there isn’t enough water for them. At the very least many of them are getting smaller than they were before. As a result they can’t substantiate the same volume of plants and animals as they once were able to.
Experts often worry about the wetland biomes as they seem to be very fragile. When there are problems such as pollution or with the land not being managed properly they aren’t going to be a success. There are currently many organizations in place with the goal of getting everyone to be more aware of why the wetlands are so important.
In some areas the efforts have gone as far as to try to get courts to pose injunctions of building where wetland biomes exist. They want to restore these lands and even see them grow rather than being destroyed. It is a complex issue with supporters on both sides with reasons why they should have it their own way.
The benefits of all biomes including the wetlands though far outweigh the alternatives. We often don’t realize that our own quality of life often depends on the balances that are in place among the various biomes. When we take actions that damage the wetland biomes or destroy them, we can also cause a chain reaction. Without realizing it we can cause problems for other biomes as well.