Wetlands

Wetlands

Wetlands Marsh Growth, Creative Commons

Southern Appalachian wetlands are gaining attention for the wealth of rare and unique life forms they support. In North Carolina alone, mountain bogs and fens provide habitats for nearly 90 species of plants and animals that are considered rare, threatened or endangered. These include bog turtles, mountain sweet pitcher plants, green pitcher plants, swamp pink, Gray’s lily and rare carnivorous plants that thrive on a high acidity, low nitrogen environment. The few remaining wetlands are small, isolated systems usually found in stream valleys. Highway construction and various forms of development endanger them and most are subject to drying out. As well as providing precious habitats, they also help control flood waters, reduce sediment runoff and improve the quality of ground water.

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