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Macoun Marsh Image .jpg

In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland which is subject to frequent or continuous flood.[1] Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, and other herbaceous plants.

Woody plants will be low-growing shrubs. A marsh is different from a swamp, which has a greater proportion of open water surface and may be deeper than a marsh. In North America, the term "swamp" is used for wetland dominated by trees rather than grasses and low herbs.

Contents

Classifications

The water of a marsh can be fresh (freshwater marsh), brackish (brackish marsh), or saline (salt marsh).

Associations

Coastal marshes may be associated with estuaries, and are also along waterways between coastal barrier islands and the inner coast. The estuarine marsh, or tidal marsh, is often based on soils consisting of sandy bottoms or bay muds. An example is the Tantramar Marsh of eastern Canada.

Ecology

Marshes are critically important wildlife habitat, often serving as breeding grounds for a wide variety of animal life, particularly including ducks and geese.

Commercial application

Constructed wetlands featuring surface-flow design are usually in the form of a marsh.

Related phenomena

Decomposition of plant materials below water often produces marsh gas, which may begin to burn by self-ignition making mysterious lights known locally as Will o' the wisps, Jack-o'-lanterns, or sprites.

See also

Reference line notes

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Marsh may refer to:

Othniel Charles Marsh, an American zoologist and palaeontologist

Janet E. Marsh, a Canadian lichenologist


Simple English

This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. For other uses of the word marsh see marsh (disambiguation).


In geography, a marsh is a type of wetland, featuring grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, and other herbaceous plants (possibly with low-growing woody plants) in a context of shallow water. A marsh is different from a swamp, which has a greater proportion of open water surface, which is generally deeper than a marsh. In the USA, the term swamp is used for wetland dominated by trees rather than grasses and low herbs.

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The water of a marsh can be fresh, brackish or saline. Coastal marshes may be associated with estuaries and along waterways between coastal barrier islands and the inner coast. Estuarine marshes often are based on soils consisting of sandy bottoms or bay muds.

Marshes are critically important wildlife habitat, often serving as breeding grounds for a wide variety of animal life.

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