Wet 
 Meadows
Bogs & 
 Sphagnum
Shrub 
 Swamps
Forested 
 Swamps
Vernal 
 Pools
Seeps
Wetlands

Wetlands

Wet Sedge or Grass Meadow:  May have some surface water year-round, or in summer may have saturated soils but no standing water.  Dominant vegetation is sedges and/or grasses.

Bogs,  Sphagnum Moss:  Bogs are acidic, nutrient- and oxygen-poor wetlands characterized by an accumulation of partially decayed sphagnum (peat) with a living layer of sphagnum on top.  Bogs often support a unique community of acid-tolerant plants including tamarack, black spruce, several species of orchids, and carnivorous plants such as sundews, pitcher plants and bladderworts.   Plants in the heath family, such as blueberry, leatherleaf, cranberry, and sheep laurel are also common.  Some bogs may have an area of open water at their center, which would attract wildlife listed in the Beaver Ponds or Other Open Water category.  Sphagnum may also occur in forested areas along stream courses, and within other wetland types such as sedge meadows, shrub swamps and forested swamps.

Shrub Swamp:  A seasonally or permanently flooded wetland whose predominant vegetation is woody shrubs under 20 feet tall such as highbush blueberry, winterberry, alder, willow and poison sumac.

Forested Swamp:  Seasonally flooded wetlands whose dominant vegetation is trees over 20 feet tall.  Red and silver maple are often the most abundant species, and common cohorts may include pin oak, box elder, cottonwood, and American elm.

Vernal Pools:  Small bodies of water without a permanent outflow or inflow that typically become dry for part of the year. Vernal pool communities function as a nutrient source for upland ecosystems.   They support a variety of unique invertebrates that can withstand periodic dry conditions.  Because they don't contain fish, they are a critical breeding area for mole salamanders such as the spotted, Jefferson's and marbled, and for wood  and other frogs.  The mole salamanders return year after year to their natal pool, spending most of the year underground in the upland surrounding the pool.  For this reason, it is important to protect a wide buffer around the pools as well as the pools themselves.

Seeps:  Headwaters of streams where the water table meets the ground surface.  These areas area valuable for wildlife because they don't freeze in winter, thereby providing water year round.