Swamp

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"Swampland" redirects here. Swamp_sentence_0

For the theoretical-physics concept, see Swampland (physics). Swamp_sentence_1

For other uses, see Swamp (disambiguation). Swamp_sentence_2

A swamp is a forested wetland. Swamp_sentence_3

Swamps are considered to be transition zones because both land and water play a role in creating this environment. Swamp_sentence_4

Swamps vary in size and are located all around the world. Swamp_sentence_5

The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water, or seawater. Swamp_sentence_6

Freshwater swamps form along large rivers or lakes where they are critically dependent upon rainwater and seasonal flooding to maintain natural water level fluctuations. Swamp_sentence_7

Saltwater swamps are found along tropical and subtropical coastlines. Swamp_sentence_8

Some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. Swamp_sentence_9

The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. Swamp_sentence_10

In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more correctly termed a bog, fen, or muskeg. Swamp_sentence_11

Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, and the Congo. Swamp_sentence_12

Differences between marshes and swamps Swamp_section_0

Swamps and marshes are specific types of wetlands that form along waterbodies containing rich, hydric soils. Swamp_sentence_13

Marshes are wetlands, continually or frequently flooded by nearby running bodies of water, that are dominated by emergent soft-stem vegetation and herbaceous plants. Swamp_sentence_14

Swamps are wetlands consisting of saturated soils or standing water and are dominated by water-tolerant woody vegetation such as shrubs, bushes, and trees. Swamp_sentence_15

Hydrology Swamp_section_1

Swamps are characterized by their saturated soils and slow-moving waters. Swamp_sentence_16

The water that accumulates in swamps comes from a variety of sources including precipitation, groundwater, tides and/or freshwater flooding. Swamp_sentence_17

These hydrologic pathways all contribute to how energy and nutrients flow in and out of the ecosystem. Swamp_sentence_18

As water flows through the swamp, nutrients, sediment and pollutants are naturally filtered out. Swamp_sentence_19

Chemicals like phosphorus and nitrogen that end up in our waterways get absorbed and used by the aquatic plants within the swamp, purifying the water. Swamp_sentence_20

Any remaining or excess chemicals present will accumulate at the bottom of the swamp, being removed from the water and buried within the sediment. Swamp_sentence_21

The biogeochemical environment of a swamp is dependent on its hydrology, affecting the levels and availability of resources like oxygen, nutrients, water pH and toxicity, which will influence the whole ecosystem. Swamp_sentence_22

Values and ecosystem services Swamp_section_2

Swamps and other wetlands have traditionally held a very low property value compared to fields, prairies, or woodlands. Swamp_sentence_23

They have a reputation for being unproductive land that cannot easily be utilized for human activities, other than perhaps hunting and trapping. Swamp_sentence_24

Farmers, for example, typically drained swamps next to their fields so as to gain more land usable for planting crops. Swamp_sentence_25

In reality, swamps play an important ecological role in our environment and provide a variety of resources that we depend on. Swamp_sentence_26

Swamps and other wetlands are used as a tool in flood management. Swamp_sentence_27

In circumstances of flooding, swamps absorb and use the excess water within the wetland, preventing it from traveling and protecting surrounding areas from flooding. Swamp_sentence_28

Dense vegetation within the swamp also provides structure to the land, holding sediment in place and preventing erosion and land loss. Swamp_sentence_29

Swamps are critically important to providing fresh water and oxygen to all life, and they are often breeding grounds for a wide variety of species. Swamp_sentence_30

Floodplain swamps are extremely important in fish production. Swamp_sentence_31

Two thirds of global fish and shellfish are commercially harvested and dependent on wetlands. Swamp_sentence_32

Impacts and conservation Swamp_section_3

Historically, humans have been known to drain and/or fill swamps and other wetlands in order to create more space for human development and to reduce the threat of diseases borne by swamp insects. Swamp_sentence_33

Wetlands are removed and replaced with land that is then used for things like agriculture, real estate, and recreational uses. Swamp_sentence_34

Many swamps have also undergone intensive logging and farming, requiring the construction of drainage ditches and canals. Swamp_sentence_35

These ditches and canals contributed to drainage and, along the coast, allowed salt water to intrude, converting swamps to marsh or even to open water. Swamp_sentence_36

Large areas of swamp were therefore lost or degraded. Swamp_sentence_37

Louisiana provides a classic example of wetland loss from these combined factors. Swamp_sentence_38

Europe has probably lost nearly half its wetlands. Swamp_sentence_39

New Zealand lost 90 percent of its wetlands over a period of 150 years. Swamp_sentence_40

Ecologists recognize that swamps provide valuable ecological services including flood control, fish production, water purification, carbon storage, and wildlife habitats. Swamp_sentence_41

In many parts of the world authorities protect swamps. Swamp_sentence_42

In parts of Europe and North America, swamp restoration projects are becoming widespread. Swamp_sentence_43

The United States government began enforcing stricter laws and management programs in the 1970's in efforts to protect and restore these valuable ecosystems. Swamp_sentence_44

Often the simplest steps to restoring swamps involve plugging drainage ditches and removing levees. Swamp_sentence_45

Conservationists work to preserve swamps such as those in northwest Indiana in the United States Midwest that were preserved as part of the Indiana Dunes. Swamp_sentence_46

Notable examples Swamp_section_4

Swamps can be found on all continents except Antarctica. Swamp_sentence_47

The largest swamp in the world is the Amazon River floodplain, which is particularly significant for its large number of fish and tree species. Swamp_sentence_48

Africa Swamp_section_5

The Sudd and the Okavango Delta are Africa's best known marshland areas. Swamp_sentence_49

The Bangweulu Floodplains make up Africa's largest swamp. Swamp_sentence_50

Asia Swamp_section_6

The Mesopotamian Marshes is a large swamp and river system in southern Iraq, traditionally inhabited in part by the Marsh Arabs. Swamp_sentence_51

In Asia, tropical peat swamps are located in mainland East Asia and Southeast Asia. Swamp_sentence_52

In Southeast Asia, peatlands are mainly found in low altitude coastal and sub-coastal areas and extend inland for distance more than 100 km (62 mi) along river valleys and across watersheds. Swamp_sentence_53

They are mostly to be found on the coasts of East Sumatra, Kalimantan (Central, East, South and West Kalimantan provinces), West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Peninsular Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, Southeast Thailand, and the Philippines (Riley et al.,1996). Swamp_sentence_54

Indonesia has the largest area of tropical peatland. Swamp_sentence_55

Of the total 440,000 km (170,000 sq mi) tropical peat swamp, about 210,000 km (81,000 sq mi) are located in Indonesia (Page, 2001; Wahyunto, 2006). Swamp_sentence_56

The Vasyugan Swamp is a large swamp in the western Siberia area of the Russian Federation. Swamp_sentence_57

This is one of the largest swamps in the world, covering an area larger than Switzerland. Swamp_sentence_58

North America Swamp_section_7

The Atchafalaya Swamp at the lower end of the Mississippi River is the largest swamp in the United States. Swamp_sentence_59

It is an important example of southern cypress swamp but it has been greatly altered by logging, drainage and levee construction. Swamp_sentence_60

Other famous swamps in the United States are the forested portions of the Everglades, Okefenokee Swamp, Barley Barber Swamp, Great Cypress Swamp and the Great Dismal Swamp. Swamp_sentence_61

The Okefenokee is located in extreme southeastern Georgia and extends slightly into northeastern Florida. Swamp_sentence_62

The Great Cypress Swamp is mostly in Delaware but extends into Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. Swamp_sentence_63

Point Lookout State Park on the southern tip of Maryland contains a large amount of swamps and marshes. Swamp_sentence_64

The Great Dismal Swamp lies in extreme southeastern Virginia and extreme northeastern North Carolina. Swamp_sentence_65

Both are National Wildlife Refuges. Swamp_sentence_66

Another swamp area, Reelfoot Lake of extreme western Tennessee and Kentucky, was created by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes. Swamp_sentence_67

Caddo Lake, the Great Dismal and Reelfoot are swamps that are centered at large lakes. Swamp_sentence_68

Swamps are often associated with bayous in the southeastern United States, especially in the Gulf Coast region. Swamp_sentence_69

A baygall is a type of swamp found in the forest of the Gulf Coast states in the USA. Swamp_sentence_70

List of major swamps Swamp_section_8

The world's largest wetlands include significant areas of swamp, such as in the Amazon and Congo River basins. Swamp_sentence_71

Further north, however, the largest wetlands are bogs. Swamp_sentence_72

Africa Swamp_section_9

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Asia Swamp_section_10

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Europe Swamp_section_11

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North America Swamp_section_12

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South America Swamp_section_13

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See also Swamp_section_14

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swamp.