Northern Swamp

   

The Northern swamp macrogroup consists of the following habitats:







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High Allegheny Headwater Wetland

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Regional distribution:
MD, PA, VA, WV. 27,695 total acres of habitat, of which 52.0% is conserved.


Description:
A wetland complex of forested swamps, shrub swamps, wet meadows and open marshes occurring at high elevations (2400 to 5000 feet) along the high plateau of the Allegheny Mountains. They are mostly in West Virginia, and range in size from a few hectares to about 6000 hectares. Forested swamps are dominated by red spruce, with red maple, hemlock, and yellow birch. Where calcareous bedrock influences seepage water, balsam fir and black ash are typical. Common shrubs are nannyberry, great rhododendron, alder, blueberry, bushy St. Johnswort, winterberry, and black chokeberry. Peat mosses and haircap mosses form a well-developed bryophyte layer. Bogs may occur in undisturbed portions of larger wetlands.

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North-Central Interior and Appalachian Rich Swamp

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Regional distribution:
CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV. 830,618 total acres of habitat, of which 12.0% is conserved.


Description:
A hardwood or occasionally mixed swamp of alkaline wetlands associated with limestone or other calcareous substrate in the southern portion of the region. Red maple and black ash are the dominant deciduous trees in most examples. Conifers may include larch, but typically not northern white cedar, which is characteristic of more northern wetlands. The canopy can be variable, as there may be shrubby or herbaceous openings within the swamp. A diverse ground cover is made up of some combination of herbs indicative of nutrient-rich conditions, ferns, and bryophytes characteristic of fens.

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Laurentian-Acadian Alkaline Conifer-Hardwood Swamp

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Regional distribution:
CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, VT. 921,478 total acres of habitat, of which 19.5% is conserved.


Description:
A forested swamp of alkaline wetlands associated with limestone or other calcareous substrate in the northern part of the glaciated northeast. Northern white cedar is often present and may dominate the canopy or be mixed with other conifers or with deciduous trees, most commonly red maple or black ash. Some examples can be almost entirely deciduous and dominated by black ash. Red-osier dogwood is a common shrub. The herb layer tends to be more diverse than in acidic swamps, due to higher pH and nutrient level. Small open fenny areas may occur within the wetland. The moss layer is often extensive and diverse. Seepage may influence parts of the wetland, but the hydrology is dominated by the basin setting.

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Northern Appalachian-Acadian Conifer-Hardwood Acidic Swamp

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Regional distribution:
CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, PA, VT. 1,311,922 total acres of habitat, of which 38.0% is conserved.


Description:
A conifer or mixed forested swamp of permanently saturated basins with seasonal standing water. Characteristic of the glaciated Northeast, this habitat may develop in peat moss or mineral soil. In peat, trees form a partial to full cover and stunted to well-developed black spruce and larch are dominant. Heath shrubs and sedges are common in the understory, although the dwarf-shrub layer is less well- developed than in open acidic peatlands. In mineral soil, red maple, red spruce, and balsam fir are the most typical trees; ash may be common in some locations. The herbaceous and shrub layers tend to be fairly species-poor; catberry, tall ferns (cinnamon, interrupted, sensitive), and wetland sedges are typical.

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North-Central Appalachian Acidic Swamp

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Regional distribution:
CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV. 1,505,822 total acres of habitat, of which 19.1% is conserved.


Description:
A conifer or mixed conifer-hardwood swamp of poorly drained acidic substrates throughout central New England and the Central Appalachians, encompassing a broad range of basin, seepage, and stream-associated wetland communities. Hemlock is usually present and may be dominant. It is often mixed with deciduous wetland trees such as red maple or black gum. Spruce is rarely present. Basin swamps tend to be more nutrient-poor than seepage swamps; in some settings, the two occur adjacent to each other with the basin swamp vegetation surrounded by seepage swamp vegetation on its upland periphery.

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