- Wetlands are areas of land with soil that is saturated and at least partially covered with water for part or all of the year. Cattails and other plants that are adapted to such wet conditions dominate wetlands. There are many different kinds of wetlands, each having their own different characteristics.
- Bogs are one type of wetland. They have acidic waters with spongy peat deposits. Bogs get their nutrients from rain/snow.
- Fens are peat-forming wetlands that get nutrients from slowly moving water sources and precipitation.
- Marshes are wetlands that are frequently or continually flooded with water and characterized by emergent soft-stemmed vegetation adapted to the moist soil conditions.
- Swamps are another type of wetland. They look like forested wetlands. Swamps are usually found in poorly drained areas on the edges of lakes and streams. In Michigan there are conifer, hardwood and shrub swamps.
- Vernal pools are the final type of wetland. They are small shallow depressions in grasslands or forests that stay dry for most of the year. Vernal pools hold water for only a few months during the year but are critical to the life cycle of many animals. Vernal pools are common in the spring.
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