Breath of Clarity

Biogeochemical Characteristics- Name the Wetland

Biochemical Characteristics:

1) % of organic content in soil: 2-5%

2) Oxygen: a limiting nutrient

3) pH: ~ 5.0

4) Leaf litter content in soil: high

5) Phosphorous content in soil: high

Plant Adaptations:

1) Adventitious roots

2) Fluted tree trucks

Ecosystem-Level Processes:

1) Mineral cycles: open

2) Species density: high

3) P:B ratio: low

Comment by Hannah Claycomb:

Mary, I am going to guess you are describing a bottomland hardwood forest. The big give aways to me were the soil characteristics, adventitious roots, fluted tree trunks, and high species density. Due to the anaerobic conditions in bottomland hardwood forests, adventitious roots form when the original roots die and are able to function normally in the aerobic environment just above the water line (Mitsch and Gosselink 2015, 218). Organic matter in these forests are 2-5% because there is rather slow decomposition rates taking place due to flooding and fluctuations in soil oxygen. These forests also produce a lot of complex vegetation, cover, and leaf litter that provide habitats for many species in the wetland (Ober 2019). Bottomlands also have a high clay content as well as phosphorous because of its higher affinity for clay particles. Great descriptors!

Mitsch, William J., and James G. Gosselink. 2015. Wetlands. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ober, Holly. 2019. “THE IMPORTANCE OF BOTTOMLAND HARDWOOD FORESTS FOR WILDLIFE.” Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

My Comment:

Yes, correct! Awesome insight about the anaerobic vs. aerobic conditions!