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MuskegBogs are wetlands formed in cool, wet areas where drainage is poor and the soil lacks oxygen. Rain and snowfall supply most of the water to a bog, which is why bogs are low in nutrients. They have strongly acidic water and dense, sometimes floating mats of vegetation. A carpet of sedges and mosses, usually sphagnum moss, covers bogs with colors from pale green to dark red. As the bog ages, the mosses and sedges accumulate in layers of peat. Low shrubs and trees such as tamarack and black spruce are able to grow in bogs since they are adapted to the acidic water and low nutrient levels. A bog often looks like a forest that is not growing vigorously. You can find plants such as the sundew, the pitcher plant, cranberry, sedges and cotton grasses in bogs.

Reprinted from Focus On Wetlands  (1994) with permission of Alberta Environment.

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