wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species

In geography, a marsh is a type of wetland. It has grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, and other herbaceous plants (possibly with low-growing woody plants) in a context of shallow water. A marsh is different from a swamp, which has a greater proportion of open water surface, which is generally deeper than a marsh. In the US, the term 'swamp' is used for wetland dominated by trees rather than grasses and low herbs.

Freshwater marsh in Florida
Marsh in Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada

The water of a marsh can be fresh, brackish or saline. Coastal marshes may be associated with estuaries and along waterways between coastal barrier islands and the inner coast. Estuarine marshes often are based on soils consisting of sandy bottoms or bay muds.

Marshes are critically important wildlife habitat, often serving as breeding grounds for a wide variety of animal life.


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