Exam 1 Review

ESRM 472 Wetland Ecology


1. What are the three distinguishing features that are used to legally define a wetland?

2.  Rieley and Page define the “trophic status” of both mineral-rich and nutrient-poor waters  by placing them into three categories: oligotrophic, eutrophic and dystrophic.  Compare oligotrophic and dystrophic  waters in these categories:

Nutrients, pH, dissolved oxygen, productivity, organic matter, color

3.  How are bogs formed?

4.  What is wetland classification?

5.  What is wetland delineation?

6.  The Cowardin wetland classification method is used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  What are the five main systems ?

7.  Choose one of these five systems, and describe what kinds of wetlands are in it, and how it might be differentiated from neighboring systems.

8.  Why do we delineate wetlands?

9.  Delineation includes finding out what vegetation occurs at a site to determine whether the site is a wetland.  What do these terms refer to:  Obligate, Facultative Wetland, Facultative, Facultative Upland, Upland?

10.  When doing delineation in the field, what are some indications that a site has some degree of seasonal flooding?

11.  On a simple model of the earth, at what latitudes are the wet zones, and at what latitudes are the deserts?

12.  The Koppen climate maps have zones like polar, boreal, temperate, sub-topical, desert and tropical.  Where are the most wetlands found, and why?

13.  In the northern hemisphere, what effect do large continental landmasses have on summer climates?

14.  Name two major wetland systems in North America.

15. There are two major seasonally flooded wetlands in South America, exclusive of the Amazon floodplain.  What are they?

16.  Why are there wet and dry seasons in the tropics?

17.  As you move south in Europe from the Arctic toward central Europe, what major characteristics of wetlands change, and how?

18.  How do wetlands form in desert regions such as those in Iran and Iraq?

19.  What is the Aral Sea, and what has happened to it?

20.  Why do some small tropical islands have streams and freshwater wetlands while others are dominated by marine influences and have coastal wetlands?

21.  What are brackish marshes?

22.  How do hypersaline lagoons form?

23.  What is a tidal freshwater marsh?  Do we have local examples?

24.  What are mangroves?  What are some of their characteristics?

25.  What limits the distribution of mangroves in North America?

26.  Where are most of the peat-forming wetlands in North America?  Do they have high or low productivity?


Description: Water Balance.jpg


Using the water balance diagram above, draw a reasonable water balance diagram for one of the following:

                A bog in Massachusetts

                A playa lake in New Mexico

                A riparian floodplain forest in Mississippi

                A river channel mangrove swamp on the coast of Florida.


You may describe the inputs and outflows in inches or centimeters, but please tell me which.


Is the system surface-water dominated, precipitation dominated, or about equally influenced by the two kinds of water source?

28.  What is wetland hydroperiod?

29.  How can increased flooding increase diversity in a wetland?  How can it decrease diversity?

30.  How do pulses in flow along stream corridors enhance productivity?

31.  Wetland productivity, decomposition, nutrient cycling and export tend to be linked and tied to flooding and stream flows.  Explain?

32.  Most marshes are “nutrient-leaky”.  Why?

33.  Wetlands in urbanizing areas tend to have more water in them during rainfall episodes.  Why?  Does this impact vegetation?

34.  What are hydric soils?

35.  Are hydric soils high in organic content?

36.  What is redox potential?

37.  What are some redoximorphic charateristics of flooded mineral soils?

38.  What drives the redox potential down in flooded soils?

39.  The function of oxygen in the metabolism of wetland organisms is to be a terminal electron acceptor.  What other compounds serve this function, and in what order as the redox potential drops?

40.  Wetlands function as systems that can remove excess nitrogen from waters that pass through them.  How does this happen?

41.  What is the seasonal pattern of nutrient uptake, storage and release in wetlands?