What is a Wetland?

 The US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) defines wetlands as “lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For the purposes of this classification, wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes: (1) at…

Natural History and Development of Connecticut Wetlands

The USFWS organizes wetlands into two major classes: tidal and nontidal. These classes are further broken down into four subclasses based on relative salinity: tidal saltwater and brackish, tidal freshwater, nontidal inland freshwater and saline wetlands. Wetland systems are further characterized as marine, estuarine, riverine or riparian, lacustrine, palustrine. A full description of FWS wetland…

5 Important Wetland Plants Native to Connecticut

The following five bullets provide brief descriptions and links to five key wetland plant species native to Connecticut. The Connecticut beggarticks (Bidens heterodoxa), or pond plant, is an annual herbaceous wetland plant that has been reported from coastal Quebec, Prince Edwards Island, New Brunswick and historically occurred in Connecticut, but there are no reports from the…

Threats to Connecticut Wetlands

According to the DEEP, the primary threat to Connecticut wetland plants is habitat loss and degradation due to draining, dredging, filling, trampling, and increased sedimentation. This is typically caused by agricultural and urban development projects which increase soil erosion, increase stormwater discharge, increase mineral concentrations from fertilizer runoff, and in the case of tidal wetlands,…

3 Important Invasive Wetland Plant Species

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) (pictured) is a tall perennial herb native to Europe. It produces beautiful pink and purple flowers, and was bred artificially by horticulturists in the mid 1900s as an ornamental. In the US and Canada, it has become a noxious and prolific invasive. Its typical habitat includes cattail marshes, sedge meadows, and bogs….

Some Additional Resources

The following search engines can be used to gather information on the natural history, morphology, distribution, and conservation status of most described plant species. UConn’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) has a large herbarium and searchable database of all plant specimens in this collection. NatureServe’s Explorer is an authoritative source of information on more…

Learn More from the Primary Literature

The following list is a small sample of peer-reviewed literature on current wetland plant ecology research which can be accessed with a NetID through the UConn libraries. The articles below are not exclusive to research conducted in Connecticut. Identifying and evaluating causes of alternative community states in wetland plant communities, by Smith, S. D. P….

How to Get Involved in Wetland Protection at UConn

Learn more about wetland hydrology and ecology and wetland plant biology by taking the following courses: Department of Natural Resources and the Environment: NRE 3105, NRE 3125, and NRE 4135 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: EEB 3204, EEB 3247, and EEB 3250 Join EcoHusky, one of the largest student-run organizations at UConn, which organizes…