Wetlands are defined as transitional between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water .
Wetlands have been categorized both as biomes and ecosystems. A patch of land that develops pools of water after a rain storm would not be considered a “wetland” though the land is wet. Wetlands have unique characteristics: they are generally distinguished from other water bodies or landforms based on their water level and on the types of plants that thrive within them. Specifically, wetlands are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface for a long enough season each year to support aquatic plants. Put simply, wetlands are lands made up of hydric soil.
Wetlands have also been described as ecotones, providing a transition between dry land and water bodies. Mitsch and Gosselink write that…
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