Types of Wetlands

There are wetlands that are often dry for decades between floods. There are wetlands that have natural wet-dry cycles. According to experts, dry phases are necessary for the survival of wetlands as well as the plants that are found in the wetlands.  There are several types of wetlands.  These include

  • Swamps – they are two types which include Freshwater Swamps and Saltwater Swamps
  • Marshe- there are also two types namely Freshwater Marshes and Saltwater Marshes
  • Bogs

Types of Wetlands


These are wetlands that are permanently saturated with water and they are dominated by trees. There are t0wo types of swamps and these are freshwater swamps and saltwater swamps.

Freshwater Swamps

They regularly form on flat land around lakes or streams. The water table around those lakes or streams is mostly high and the runoff is slow.  The swamps vary due to the seasonal flooding and rainwater. Freshwater swamps are mostly found in tropical areas.  They are usualy found near the equator and it is usually hot and there is humidity in those swamps.

Saltwater Swamps

They are mostly found along tropical coastlines. They are formed with bare flats of mud or sand that are thinly shielded by seawater during high tides. Saltwater Swamps have salt water as well as fresh water. The water that is found in Saltwater Swamps is called  brackish water. There are some hydrophytes that can tolerate brackish water. Trees su8ch as mangrove can be found in Saltwater Swamps. There are so many organisms that live in the midst of mangrove roots. The root arrangement of the tree affords shelter and a place to feed on fallen leaves.


Marshes are wetlands that form a flat, grassy fringe near river mouths, in bays, as well as along coastlines. They are interchangeably flooded and are made visible by the movement of tides. They too are divided into freshwater and saltwater categories just like swamps.

Freshwater Marshes

These are found kilometres away from the coast. They are dominated by grasses and aquatic plants. They are usually found around lakes and streams.

Saltwater Marshes

Saltwater Marshes are among the richest ecosystems. They are  also dominated by grasses. They are a source of  food and shelter for algae, fungi, shellfish, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Wading birds and other animals depend on the vegetation and plentiful insects that are found in wetlands for food.


Bogs are found in cold areas as well as in high altitudes in warmer regions. They are often formed when glacial depressions called kettle lakes are formed. These kettle lakes are deeper than prairie potholes. The process begins when a kettle lake slowly fills with plant debris, leaves roots and stems of large plants gather on the bed of the lake. When the lake becomes shallower, mosses and other plants that grow along the edges of the lake spread into the water. These mosses and other plants go on to form a loose, floating layer of tousled vegetation on the water’s surface.