Inland Wetland Functions

Inland fresh water wetlands like bogs, fens, and wet meadows store water through their wet seasons, and release it slowly into the ground water, helping plants and animals near them survive drought. The plants in them absorb chemical nutrients keeping water clean.

The amphibian population of inland wetlands is often the first indicator of problems with ground water contamination. Migratory waterfowl and many song birds depend on wetlands across the country for resting places. Bacterial action in the mud is vital to the nitrogen cycle, and sulfur cycle.

These bacteria are also, along with some plant and amphibian species, being looked at for industrial processes, pharmaceuticals, and bioremediation. Their tendency to slowly fill in traps carbon for long periods of time reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses.

Cranberries are one food crop that grows in bogs, and other wetland plants are potential food crops. Fur bearing mammals, birds, and a variety of amphibians, reptiles and plants including some of our more interesting flowers, such as Venus fly trap, depend on inland wetland habitat. Their grasses, sedges and trees are sought for ornamental landscaping and for art. As a result, inland wetlands attract tourists bringing in tourism dollars to the local economies.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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