Do Salt Marshes Differ From Swamps?


Quick Answer

The main difference between a salt marsh and a swamp is that a swamp is a wetland that is dominated by woody plants whereas a marsh, which is also a wetland, is not a woody wetland. Other types of wetland include bogs and fens.

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Full Answer

Wetlands are areas of land that are almost always covered in water. A marsh is a type of wetland that comes in a range of different types, including salt marshes. There are also freshwater marshes. Salt marshes, though, get their water from the tides. The soil is comprised of deep mud and peat, and it contains a lot of decomposing plant material. Salt marshes are important because they slow flood waters and they protect the rest of the land from the erosion caused by waves.

The soil in a swamp is also frequently or continuously covered by water. The difference is that water-tolerant trees grow in swamps. Shrubs can also grow in swamps which means they are usually divided up into two different categories: forest swamps for swamps that feature larger trees; and shrub swamps for swamps that have a lot of shrubs. Like marshes, swamps also offer protection against flooding, as well as a being a vital habitat for many fish, invertebrates, birds and animals.

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