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Wetland Types of Alberta 

String of FenlandsWhile we may not always be able to distinguish one wetland type from another there are many different types of wetlands, each with its own characteristics. Generally, wetlands are divided into peatlands and non-peatlands. Peat is the remains of partially decomposed plants such as sedges, rushes, grasses and mosses that pile up in deep layers over many years. Peat accumulates in areas known as bogs and fens. Peatlands cover approximately 93% of the total wetland area in Alberta. Because peat does not accumulate to significant thickness in slough/marsh areas or in shallow water, these areas are defined as non-peatlands. In Alberta, there are five different classes or types of wetlands - bogs, fens, swamps, marshes and ponds or shallow water.

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

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