Swamps (Wetlands)

Ecosystem Project By: Makayla Hernandez

What is a Swamp Ecosystem?

Swamps are low-elevation, brackish or freshwater wetlands that are dominated by woody plants such as trees or shrubs. Swamps are often associated with rivers, and streams, and can be seasonally flooded bringing additional nutrients and allowing animals and plants to flourish. Swamps often include higher and drier areas know as "hummocks"

What Are Some Interesting Facts About A Swamp?

  • Swamps don't actually smell like rotting bodies as Hollywood Portrays, they actually don't smell like anything.
  • Mosquitoes don't' like swamps. They like standing water, and in swamps the water is always moving.
  • Alligators who inhabit the swamps of Louisiana will not attack you.(Unless you're dressed in a chicken suit)There quite docile creatures.
  • Bayous and swamps run east to west, while rivers run north to south.
  • Gumbo was traditionally made from things you could gether from a swamp.Like:bay leaves, wild rice, crawfish, or mudbugs, sassafras, okra (african swamps) and a farmed chicken or hog.
  • Swamps clean water better than man-made filters. (I still wouldn't drink swamp water though)

What Are Facts About A Swamp?

A swamp is a community of living organisms. It's made up of plants,animals,and insects. Floridas swamp contain some of the densest concentration of plants and animals in the U.S, and it's the only habitat where crocodiles and alligators live in the same habitat. They are also home to several species of endangered and protected birds, including the bald eagle and the snail kite. With, water all around it's no surprise it's home to many wading birds.

Where Can You Find Swamps?

Swamps are usually found in warm temperate areas where there is fast vegetation growth. Swamps tend to be found in forested areas with trees that can survive in brackish ,or a mixture of saltwater and freshwater. Animals that usually live there include, but are not limited to various birds,insects,crabs and fish.

Are There Different Types Of Swamps?

There is actually many different types of swamps:
  • Conifer Swamps
  • Hardwood Swamps
  • Shrub Swamps
  • Cypress Swamps
Swamps are recognized for their wood.
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Cypress Swamp

Most Trees like

  • Bald Cypress Trees
  • Pond Cypress
  • Black Gum
  • Wax Myrtle
  • Button Wood

What Are Some Biotic And Abiotic Factors In A Swamp?

Biotic = Living Organisms Abiotic = Non-Living Organisms
  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Lizards
  • Florida Bonneted Bat
  • Big Eared Bat
  • Pipistrelle
  • Florida Black Bear
  • River Otter
  • Florida Panther
  • Florida Manatee
  • White Ibis
  • Florida Mud Turtle
  • Spotted Turtle
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Coal Skink
  • Chicken Turtle

Abiotic = Non-Living Organisms

  • Water (Most are salt water some are Brackish)
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Sun
  • Temperature
  • Oxygen
  • Sand
  • Salinity


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FOOD WEB Pictures

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Green Anaconda

  • Predator - YES
  • Does it have any Predators - NO
  • If so which - NONE

Water : Do we really need it?

Without water in a Swamp, it would just be a piece of Land. A Swamp is home to thousands of Endangered Birds, and Animals. Most animals that live here a being driven out by other species, of birds, reptiles, and insects, or even for lack of food. A swamp is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

Florida Panther (My Story)

Today there are less than 100 Florida Panthers left in the wild. They are found in swamps, such as Big Cypress Swamp.The species is so critically endangered that it's vulnerable to just about every major threat - to habitat loss, cars, and feline diseases. Florida Panthers are large tan cats. Their body is covered in large tawny-beige fur, except for the whitish gray belly and chest. Black markings decorate the tip of the tail, ears and snout of the cat. Due to the recent development of many swamps in florida, they have now been put on the endangered species list.Though the Florida Panthers that have been found have been put in The Big Cypress Swamp Preservation and Reserve, maybe saving the species altogether.

Classification of a Florida Panther

Domain - Eukaryote

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Carnivora

Family - Felidae

Genus - Puma

Species - P. concolor

This is a video of a Female Florida Panther and three cubs

Florida Panther Mother and Three Kittens In The Wild

What is the Human Impact on Swamp?

Swamps provide very important habitat for many creatures such as birds, rabbits, alligators and many more. Swamps are considered a wetland.The Audubon society says the remaining 100 million acres of wetlands in the continental U.S. are about the size of California. Alaska has an estimated 170 to 200 million acres, while Hawaii has 52,000 acres. Of the 100 million acres of wetlands remaining in the continental U.S., Florida has the most, with 11 million acres, Louisiana (8.8 million), Minnesota (8.7 million).

Human Impact:

Humans have impacted swamps by introducing non-native plants which have no natural control factor. The plants soon take over the swamp with massive negative impact.

A lot of wetland loss is attributable to agricultural activities, such as draining, diking and plowing of wetlands. Other human activities that lead to wetlands destruction include:

  • Development projects, such as subdivisions, shopping malls and business parks
  • Dikes and levees along rivers to divert flood waters
  • Pollution
  • Logging
  • Mining
  • Road construction
  • Non-native invasive plants
  • Grazing

The Western Everglades: The Big Cypress Swamp