Wetland Flora and Fauna - Examples and Photos

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

On our planet there are more than 2,250 wetlands which are of fundamental importance for life on Earth. Wetlands are not only the habitat of many species of flora and fauna, but also provide invaluable environmental services that are beneficial to all populations. Within environmental services, we can mention water purification, flood buffering, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas capture, and more. In addition, these are a source of natural resources from which many populations live.

Its importance for the conservation of biodiversity and even for our daily lives is undeniable. However, this article by Ecologist Verde will be dedicated to talking about the wetland flora and fauna. Also, we will provide some characteristics of this great ecosystem. If you are a fan on the subject, do not hesitate to continue reading this post.

Characteristics of the flora and fauna of wetlands

First, we will start by understanding what wetlands are. During the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance, popularly known as the Ramsar Convention, they were defined as all land area that is flooded seasonally or permanently. Within the term wetland, are included lakes, ponds, aquifers, streams, rivers, swamps, peatlands, floodplains, estuaries, salt marsh, mangroves and more.

From this definition, we can see that the term wetland is very broad and gives rise to a great variety of types of wetlands. Let's see here some:

  • Lake wetlands: those areas covered with water permanently and with little circulation. This includes lakes and ponds.
  • Marsh wetlands: in this case, the accumulation of water comes from underground sources, rainfall or river inputs. Examples: peat bogs, aquifers, oases, swamps, and more.
  • Riparian wetlands: it is the lands near rivers that are frequently flooded due to river overflows. As an example we mention, flood plains, meanders, flooded forests, etc.
  • Estuaric wetlands: are the coastal areas where river water meets sea water. Their water has a medium salinity. Fjords, deltas, marshes, among others, are examples of this type of wetland.
  • Marine wetlands: This includes shallow open marine waters and the coastal zone affected by waves.

As can be seen, due to the diversity of wetlands that exist and the fact that they are distributed in all latitudes, it is very difficult to determine a single wetland climate or even the same type of flora and fauna that inhabit them. Despite this, we can affirm that its flora and fauna are adapted to semi-aquatic or aquatic life. To understand it better, in the next sections we will develop more about the flora and fauna of wetlands and we will see some examples.

If you want to know more about wetlands, we recommend that you visit the article Wetlands: what they are, types and characteristics.

Wetland flora

Geographically speaking, there are wetlands distributed in many parts of the planet. Therefore, the diversity of its flora it is very varied and depends on the geographical location in question. As a common factor, we can mention that the flora of wetlands, being in flooded areas, is adapted to aquatic life. Therefore, they are aquatic or hydrophytic plants. This type of plants can be classified into:

  • Submerged plants: As the name suggests, they are completely submerged. As an example we mention the turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) present in marine wetlands.
  • Floating plants: have free roots submerged in water. The giant salvinia (Salvinia annoyed) is an example of this type of plant found in marshy wetlands.
  • Plants with floating leaves: in this case, the roots of the plants are embedded in the bed and the leaves float on the surface. We can see it in the irupéVictoria Cruziana) found in some lake wetlands in South America.
  • Emerging plants: those plants that are rooted in the flooded soil but that present the rest of their anatomy outside the water. The reed (Phragmites australis) is an emerging plant that inhabits estuarine and riparian wetlands.

Wetland fauna

Wetlands are the habitat of a great diversity of animals: from small invertebrates to large mammals. Next, we will mention some of the most amazing animals that live in them.

  • Invertebrates: Spider (Araneus granadensis), beetles (Ochthebius spp.), odonates (Ischnura spp.), aquatic insects (Sigara spp.)
  • Amphibians: bush frogBoana pulchella), frog (Ceratoprhys cranwelli), common toad (Rhinella arenarum).
  • Fish: farfetAphanius iberus), tarpon (Prochilodus lineatus), hoodie (Grundulus bogotensis), dwarf captain (Bogotense pigidium), painted catfish (Trichomycterus areolatus), lamprey (Geotria australis).
  • Reptiles: snake neck tortoisePhrinops hilarii), yacaré (Caiman yacare), sabanera snake (Attractiveus crassicaudatus), southern anaconda (Eunecetes notaeus).
  • Birds: flamingosPhoenicopterus spp.), sapper plane (Riparia riparia), kingfisher (Alcedo spp.), ducks (family Anatidae), gulls (family Laridae).
  • Mammals: nutriaMyocastor coypus), river wolves or neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis), beaver (Castor canadensis), capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris), Jaguar (Panthera onca), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

If you want to read more articles similar to Wetland flora and fauna, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

  • The Ramsar Convention: what is it about? Convention on Wetlands, fact sheet number 6. Retrieved from: https://www.ramsar.org/sites/default/files/fs_6_ramsar_convention_sp_0.pdf
  • López Portillo, J. A., Vásquez Reyes, V. M., Gómez Aguilar, L., & Priego Santander, A. G. (2010). Wetlands
You will help the development of the site, sharing the page with your friends
This page in other languages: