Shrub swamp

Shrub swamps — also called scrub swamps or buttonbush swamps — are a type of freshwater wetland ecosystem occurring in areas too wet to become swamps (“true” or freshwater swamp forest), but too dry or too shallow to become marshes. They are often considered transitional (“mid-successional”) between wet meadows or fens and conifer or hardwood swamps.

By some classifications, shrub swamps must have at least 50% shrub cover and less than 20% tree cover. Other definitions specify large shrubs with small trees less than 35 feet in height. Creation of shrub swamps often follows a catastrophic event in a forested swamp (flood, cutting, fire, or windstorm). Another route of development is via drained meadows and fens which progress to shrub swamps as a transitional state to forested swamps.

Shrub swamp
The Blackwater River passes through shrub swamp in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, US.


As a wet meadow matures it begins to fill in with vegetation and as this decomposes the soil thickens creating high spots (hummocks) above the water. Shrubs and small trees begin to grow on these. Shrub swamp water comes from run-off, streams and rivers and the water moves in and out of the swamp throughout the year. Consequently, they tend to be drier than wet meadows or forested swamps and permit water intolerant plant species to grow on the hummocks. Shrub swamps typically occur on organic soils, such as muck and shallow peat soils. Common plants found in the shrub swamps of North America include alders, willows, elderberry and highbush blueberry.


  • Palustrine Shrub Swamp
  • Circumneutral Shrub Swamp

Notable shrub swamps

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".

Agassiz Rock

Agassiz Rock is a 116-acre (47 ha) park in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, that is owned and maintained by The Trustees of Reservations. The park's name is from two examples of large glacial erratic boulders plucked from bedrock.As glaciers scoured this landscape, the mass of bedrock forming the hill proved more resistant than the surrounding soil, forcing the bottom of the glacier up and over the hill. The north side was smoothed and the south side left steep and rugged as the glacier broke off chunks of rock as it passed.

Little Agassiz Rock appears as a giant granite monolith on one of the trails. It rests precariously on a small jagged stone, leaving an opening below.A short distance away, other boulders lie perched on the edge of this glaciated upland. Below, in a small shrub swamp, rests thirty-foot-tall Big Agassiz Rock. Its depth is unknown.The trail to the site is a one-mile, moderate difficulty loop trail that passes both Big and Little Agassiz rocks. Following long periods of rain the immediate area surrounding Big Agassiz Rock often floods.

Beaver Run (Catawissa Creek tributary)

Beaver Run is a tributary of Catawissa Creek in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 6.2 miles (10.0 km) long and flows through Beaver Township. The stream's watershed has an area of 9.60 miles (15.45 km). Wetlands are present in the watershed. The stream was named by Alexander McCauley in 1774.

Fallow Hollow

Fallow Hollow is a tributary of Coles Creek in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long and flows through Sugarloaf Township. The watershed of the stream has an area of 0.96 square miles (2.5 km2). Fallow Hollow is listed on the Columbia County Natural Areas Inventory as a "Locally Significant Area". The stream is also Class A Wild Trout Waters.

Flooded grasslands and savannas

Flooded grasslands and savannas is a terrestrial habitat type of the WWF biogeographical system, consisting of large expanses or complexes of flooded grasslands. These areas support numerous plants and animals adapted to the unique hydrologic regimes and soil conditions. Large congregations of migratory and resident waterbirds may be found in these regions. However, the relative importance of these habitat types for these birds as well as more vagile taxa typically varies as the availability of water and productivity annually and seasonally shifts among complexes of smaller and larger wetlands throughout a region.This habitat type is found on four of the continents on Earth. Some globally outstanding flooded savannas and grasslands occur in the Everglades, Pantanal, Sahelian flooded savannas, Zambezian flooded savannas, and the Sudd. The Everglades are the world’s largest rain-fed flooded grassland on a limestone substrate, and feature some 11,000 species of seed-bearing plants, 25 varieties of orchids, 300 bird species, and 150 fish species. The Pantanal, one of the largest continental wetlands on Earth, supports over 260 species of fish, 700 birds, 90 mammals, 160 reptiles, 45 amphibians, 1,000 butterflies, and 1,600 species of plants. The flooded savannas and grasslands are generally the largest complexes in each region.

Great Baehre Swamp

Great Baehre Swamp is a New York state wetland located inside the Town of Amherst in Erie County, New York, United States. The area is characterized as a silver maple-ash swamp of 270 acres (1.1 km2), much of which is protected by conservation areas owned by the town and New York State.

Index of soil-related articles

This is an index of articles relating to soil.

Knob Noster State Park

Knob Noster State Park is a public recreation area covering 3,934 acres (1,592 ha) in Johnson County, Missouri, in the United States. The state park bears the name of the nearby town of Knob Noster, which itself is named for one of two small hills or "knobs" that rise up in an otherwise flat section of Missouri. Noster is a Latin adjective meaning "our"—therefore, Knob Noster translates as "our hill." A local Indian belief stated that the hills were "raised up as monuments to slain warriors." The park offers year-round camping, hiking, and fishing and is managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Lake Apopka

Lake Apopka is the fourth largest lake in the U.S. state of Florida. It is located 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Orlando, mostly within the bounds of Orange County, although the western part is in Lake County. Fed by a natural spring, rainfall and stormwater runoff, water from Lake Apopka flows through the Apopka-Beauclair Canal and into Lakes Beauclair and Dora. From Lake Dora, water flows into Lake Eustis, then into Lake Griffin and then northward into the Ocklawaha River, which flows into the St. Johns River.

Little Shickshinny Creek

Little Shickshinny Creek is a tributary of Shickshinny Creek in Columbia County and Luzerne County, in Pennsylvania, United States. It is 9.5 miles (15.3 km), nearly as long as Shickshinny Creek itself. The creek flows through Briar Creek Township, Columbia County; Salem Township, Luzerne County; and the borough of Shickshinny, in Luzerne County. It is designated as a high-quality coldwater fishery. Pennsylvania State Game Lands #55 and #260 are in the creek's watershed. The watershed has an area of 9.8 square miles, which includes swamps and forests. Waterfalls known as the Little Shickshinny Creek Falls are located on the creek.

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.

Red Brook (Stony Brook tributary)

Red Brook is a tributary of Stony Brook in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 1.7 miles (2.7 km) long and flows through Forkston Township. The watershed of the stream has an area of 1.86 square miles (4.8 km2). The stream has been named one of the best places for hiking in Wyoming County and features waterfalls, cascades, cliffs, and boulders. Its headwaters are in Coalbed Swamp, a combined boreal conifer swamp and shrub swamp.

Sechler Run

Sechler Run (also known as Sechler's Run) is a tributary of Mahoning Creek in Montour County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is 4.63 miles (7.45 km) long. The stream flows through Cooper Township, Mahoning Township, and Danville. Its only named tributary is Blizzards Run.

A. Joseph Armstrong described Sechler Run in Danville as "on the whole uninviting" in his book Trout Unlimited's Guide to Pennsylvania Limestone Streams.


Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterised by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity. It may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance, such as fire. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as fire or browsing. Shrubland may be unsuitable for human habitation because of the danger of fire. The term was coined in 1903.Shrubland species generally show a wide range of adaptations to fire, such as heavy seed production, lignotubers, and fire-induced germination.


A swamp is a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes. Some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more correctly termed a bog, fen, or muskeg. The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water or seawater. Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, and the Congo.

Wapato Lake

Wapato Lake was a historic lake located in what became parts of Washington County and Yamhill County in the U.S. state of Oregon. The area is sometimes known as Wapato Lake Bed and Wapato Flat. The lake bed is located about a half mile east of Gaston at 55 metres (180 ft) elevation. The lake bed soils contain a layer of organic peat that once supported a wetland community dominated by the wapato plant, Sagittaria latifolia, particularly in the upper marsh areas.

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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