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Wetland Types

Wetlands come in many "flavors" and each type has a unique set of characteristics. In this section, we have compiled the types of wetlands, based on salinity and tidal characteristics, that are found in Delaware.

The seasonal freshwater wetlands in this section share several features. They are largely freshwater (lack tidal inputs), usually fed by seasonal rains or high groundwater levels, and appear wet at the surface for only part of the year (typically winter through early spring). They also feature some of our most vital habitats for biodiversity in the state (including many species found nowhere else), and are also the ones most vulnerable to loss through human impacts.


Wet Flatwood Swamp Forest




Wet Flatwood Swamp Forests

Wet flatwood swamp forests are one of the most important, but least well-recognized wetland types in Delaware. Also called "winter wet woods," they occur as mixed hardwood forests in the headwaters of many coastal plain streams, and as loblolly pine/maple-gum swamps in areas fringing the Inland Bays. Due to their seasonally-wet nature, a variety of other wetland and upland plants also share the habitat. 

Flatwoods provide large areas that can filter pollutants coming off the surrounding lands before they reach the stream, and are thus critical to maintaining water quality downstream. As with the other freshwater wetlands featured here, their seasonality makes wet flatwoods especially vulnerable to human impacts, and thus a critical focus for preservation efforts.

NEXT: Floodplain Hardwood Swamps


Page 1: Wet Flatwood Swamp Forests

Page 2: Floodplain Hardwood Swamps

Page 3: Wet Meadows

Page 4: Coastal Plain Ponds

Page 5: Atlantic White Cedar Swamps

Page 6: Bald Cypress Swamps

Page 7: Other Seasonal Freshwater Wetlands  

Jump to Brackish-Saltwater Wetland Types 


Delaware Wetlands Home


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