SWAP Habitat
Arid West Interior Freshwater Emergent Marsh
NVC Name
Arid West Interior Freshwater Emergent Marsh
SWAP General Vegetation Type
RIPARIAN WOODLANDS and WETLANDS
Arid West Interior Freshwater Emergent Marsh [M888] occurs in the Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion and, to a lesser extent, in the surrounding ecoregions. Encompassed within this habitat is wetland vegetation of shallow freshwater to brackish waterbodies found below seeps and in bottomlands along drainages, river floodplain depressions, cienegas, oxbow lakes, frequently flooded gravel bars, low-lying sidebars, in-fill side channels, small ponds, stock ponds, ditches, and slow-moving perennial streams in valleys and mountain foothills. This type of marsh is characterized by a typically lush herbaceous layer than can be diverse or approach a single-species monoculture. Structure varies from emergent forbs, which barely reach the water surface, to tall graminoids that reach as tall as 4 m (13 ft). Dominant species typically include wetland-obligate species such as threesquare (Schoenoplectus pungens), chair maker’s bulrush (S. americanus), broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia), southern cattail (T. domingensis), common spikerush (Eleocharis palustris), mountain rush (Juncus balticus), knotgrass (Paspalum distichum), clustered field sedge (Carex praegracilis), wooly sedge (Carex pellita), flatsedges (Cyperus spp.), beggarticks (Bidens spp.), water hemlocks (Cicuta spp.), monkey flowers (Mimulus spp.), and canarygrasses (Phalaris spp.). This type of wetland is mostly confined to small areas in suitable floodplain or basin topography with a consistent source of freshwater. Marshes may be semipermanently flooded, but some marshes only receive seasonal flooding. They are also found along the borders of ponds, lakes, or reservoirs that have more open water. Some occurrences are interdunal wetlands in wind deflation areas where sands are scoured down to the water table. Soils typically show indications of high water tables and anoxic conditions (gleying).

Species that live in Arid West Interior Freshwater Emergent Marsh

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