Cataract bog

A cataract bog is a rare ecological community formed where a permanent stream flows over a granite outcropping. The sheeting of water keeps the edges of the rock wet without eroding the soil; in this precarious location no tree or large shrub can maintain a roothold. The result is a narrow, permanently wet, sunny habitat.

While a cataract bog is host to plants typical of a bog, it is technically a fen. Bogs get water from the atmosphere, while fens get their water from groundwater seepage.[1]

Cataract bogs inhabit a narrow, linear zone next to the stream and are partly shaded by trees and shrubs in the adjacent plant communities.[2] Algae growing on the rocks can make the surface slippery and dangerous for those exploring a cataract bog.[3]

Typical species

The rushing water carves out small depressions where soil accumulates, forming micro-islands that play host to plants that thrive with low levels of nutrients and shallow root structures. Typical species include Sphagnum moss; carnivorous plants such as round-leaf sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea and S. jonesii), and horned bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta); several orchid species such as common grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus), small green wood-orchid (Platanthera clavellata), rose pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides), and nodding ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes cernua). Other plants found in cataract bogs are limeseep grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia), Indian paint brush (Castilleja coccinea), stiff cowbane (Oxypolis rigidior), Appalachian bluet (Houstonia serpyllifolia) and northern sundrops (Oenothera tetragona).[2]

The plant communities are fragile because of their tenuous attachment to thin soil above the rock substrate. During prolonged drought, the stream may dry up and the edges of the micro-islands curl up. Heavy rainfall can then wash away the micro-islands, so a cataract bog is in a continual state of change and renewal.[3]


Cataract bogs are found only in the southern Appalachian Mountains of the United States, at elevations of between 1,200 and 2,400 feet (370 and 730 m). They are restricted to the Blue Ridge Escarpment region of South Carolina and a small area of North Carolina, a region with exceptionally high rainfall.[1]


  1. ^ a b McMillan, Patrick. "Mountain Bogs on the Verge of Vanishing". Expeditions with Patrick McMillan. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b Porcher, Richard Dwight (2001). A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. p. 71. ISBN 1-57003-438-9.
  3. ^ a b Spira, Timothy P. (2011). Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978-0-8078-7172-0.
A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia

A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (DIWA) is a list of wetlands of national importance to Australia. Intended to augment the list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, it was formerly published in report form, but is now essentially an online publication. Wetlands that appear in the Directory are commonly referred to as "DIWA wetlands" or "Directory wetlands".

Appalachian bogs

Appalachian bogs are boreal or hemiboreal ecosystems, which occur in many places in the Appalachian Mountains, particularly the Allegheny and Blue Ridge subranges. Though popularly called bogs, many of them are technically fens.


A bog or bogland is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire, and muskeg; alkaline mires are called fens. They are frequently covered in ericaceous shrubs rooted in the sphagnum moss and peat. The gradual accumulation of decayed plant material in a bog functions as a carbon sink.Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acidic and low in nutrients. In some cases, the water is derived entirely from precipitation, in which case they are termed ombrotrophic (cloud-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins. In general, the low fertility and cool climate result in relatively slow plant growth, but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence, peat accumulates. Large areas of the landscape can be covered many meters deep in peat.Bogs have distinctive assemblages of animal, fungal and plant species, and are of high importance for biodiversity, particularly in landscapes that are otherwise settled and farmed.

Murray Bridge Training Area

The Murray Bridge Training Area (also called Murray Bridge Army Training Area) is an Australian Army training area located in South Australia in the locality of Burdett about 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) east of the city of Murray Bridge and about 70 kilometres (43 miles) east of the centre of the city of Adelaide. The training area was established prior to 1970. As of 2011, the training area contained shooting ranges for use with small arms for distances up to 800 metres (2,600 feet), space for the training of subunits from Australian Army units located within South Australia and support facilities such as a “vehicle maintenance compound.” An area of about 71 hectares (180 acres) within the training area was developed as an artificial wetland in 1992 for the purpose of treating effluent that would otherwise have been discharged into the Murray River. This wetland has been listed as a wetland of national importance since at least 1995.

National Wetlands Inventory

The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) was established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to conduct a nationwide inventory of U.S. wetlands to provide biologists and others with information on the distribution and type of wetlands to aid in conservation efforts. To do this, the NWI developed a wetland classification system (Cowardin et al. 1979) that is now the official FWS wetland classification system and the Federal standard for wetland classification (adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee on July 29, 1996: 61 Federal Register 39465). The NWI also developed techniques for mapping and recording the inventory findings. The NWI relies on trained image analysts to identify and classify wetlands and deepwater habitats from aerial imagery. NWI started mapping wetlands at a small scale (1:250,000 map which covers an area the size of 128-1:24,000 USGS topographic maps or approximately 7,400 square miles). Eventually, large-scale (1:24K scale) maps became the standard product delivered by NWI. As computerized mapping and geospatial technology evolved, NWI discontinued production of paper maps in favor of distributing data via online "mapping tools" where information can be viewed and downloaded. Today, FWS serves its data via an on-line data discovery "Wetlands Mapper". GIS users can access wetlands data through an online wetland mapping service or download data for various applications (maps, data analyses, and reports). The techniques used by NWI have recently been adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee as the federal wetland mapping standard (FGDC Wetlands Subcommittee 2009). This standard applies to all federal grants involving wetland mapping to insure the data can be added to the Wetlands Layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. NWI also produces national wetlands status and trends reports required by the United States Congress.

Ramsar Convention

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.

Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives. COP12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 2015. COP13 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in October 2018.

Sleaford Mere

Sleaford Mere (alternative name: Kuyabidni) is a permanent saline lake, located on the Jussieu Peninsula on the south eastern tip of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia about 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) south west of Port Lincoln. The lake was discovered and named by the British explorer, Matthew Flinders, on 26 February 1802. Since 1969, the lake has been part of the Sleaford Mere Conservation Park and since 2005, it has been listed as a nationally important wetland. The lake and its environs are notable as a venue for recreational pursuits such as canoeing.

Watervalley Wetlands

The Watervalley Wetlands is a nationally important wetland system located in the Australian state of South Australia which consists of a series of contiguous wetlands, lying on 56.6 square kilometres (21.9 sq mi) of private land between the Coorong National Park and Gum Lagoon Conservation Park, in the state's south-east.

Classification systems

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