To fully understand what a swamp is, it is necessary to know that it is an area covered by silt , which is a term that refers to a type of mud that has a fairly soft consistency that can also be located mainly in places where it occurs. abundant moisture , as are river beds and lagoons. So the swamp is basically a place covered by water and mud .
What is a swamp?
A swamp is a place that is completely covered by silt , which also has a large amount of puddles and soft mud in places where there are high levels of humidity in the soils.
- Definition of swamp
- Characteristics of a swamp
- Economic activity
Definition of swamp
The concept of swamp can basically refer to a form of swamp in which there is a body of water that is stagnant mixed with earth that gives rise to the formation of mud and that has been formed due to a shallow depression in the Earth. In general, they are formed when the course of a river undergoes some type of deviation in a completely natural way and sometimes they are created when the waters of the rivers fail to find an outlet towards the waters of the oceans, giving rise to the growth of vegetation and trees, while gradually housing different types of animal species .
In some cases the word swamp can also refer to wetlands , intermediate places between terrestrial and aquatic habitats which are born on flat lands that are sometimes flooded either temporarily or permanently . In wetlands you can also find places such as estuaries and mangroves and are formed mainly in tropical and subtropical places where marshes abound.
Characteristics of a swamp
Among the most representative characteristics that can be found in the swamps, the following are mentioned:
- Its plant species have stems that are characterized by being hollow .
- They can be created from fresh water or salt water .
- It is considered a type of ecosystem since insects, amphibians, mammals and birds mainly of marine type inhabit it .
- They depend in a certain way on the waters of the rivers that have formed them so that there is an adequate exchange of materials and important organisms such as plankton .
- They are considered as places of damping of the rising of the rivers.
- They are fundamental places as a source of food for many other species as well as a means that provides protection to the fauna that inhabits the place, mainly to the different species of fish.
- It is a type of habitat that turns out to be very important for hydrophytic plants .
There are a total of four different types of swamps which depend on the amount of water they receive. These types are as follows:
- Primary swamps : this type of place is directly connected to the river by means of a channel.
- Cluster swamps : they are also known by the name of swamp rosary and are made up of a cluster of smaller swamps that are connected to the main one.
- Indirect primary swamps : as their name indicates, they are connected but indirectly to secondary channels.
- Isolated swamps : this type of swamp is the one that is formed by means of abundant rains or by overflowing rivers but at the same time they do not have a direct connection with it.
As for the fauna, it is considered endemic and it is common to find some birds, mainly of the marine type, as well as reptiles , animals that adapt very easily to this type of environment. It is also common to find some types of fish in the place, many of which are in danger of extinction due to the hand of man. It is possible to find animals such as ducks, pisingos and herons and among mammals species such as otters and manatees, as well as turtles and alligators.
The flora and vegetation that can be found in the swamps produce a type of runoff that forms a mantle and that is generally made up of one or two different species of plants which are characterized by having dominant roots . It is common to find different types of plants that float and some that live submerged in water, such as water lilies, algae and cattails.
This type of aquatic flora is sometimes replaced by bushes , mainly when the fill that is located at the bottom of the swamp increases considerably and then it is also common to find grass plants and some slightly larger trees that also sink their roots in the nutrient-rich funds.
The type of climate that can be found in a swamp is a type of local steppe in which there is an abundant presence of rain throughout the year . Its temperature is quite hot during all the months and can present a decrease in the month of January.
In the swamps you can find temperatures that vary and oscillate between 24 ° C and 33 ° C. On some occasions, although not regularly, the climate may drop to temperatures below 23 ° or in some cases rise by above average.
Precipitation in swamps tends to vary considerably throughout the year. The wettest season can last approximately one six and a half months and there are few months in which rain is scarce. An average amount of 102 millimeters of rainfall can accumulate even in one day and this rainy season extends from April to December . By having high dew points, the humidity of the place is maintained both in the day and at night and for this reason the environment feels very muggy .
In the case of swamp-type swamps, they can be found basically all over the planet except Antarctica . They are located mainly in areas that are located near rivers or lakes to provide water. The same happens with the swamps of the wetlands.
Many of the swamps that exist are used for tourist purposes because in them you can take thermal baths, which attracts the attention of people, thus producing significant economic income to the areas where they are developed.
The swamps are of utmost importance due to the wide variety of habitats they provide. The organic matter they produce turns out to be one of the main sources of energy for many types of organisms that inhabit the place. They are also places of great importance due to the variety of ecosystems that inhabit them and many are also used as a supply resource since artisanal fishing, hunting and agriculture activities are usually carried out .
Some examples of swamps are the following:
- Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta Sanctuary.
- Cienaga de Zapatosa.
- Ciénaga Magdalena in Colombia .
- Ciénaga horcones in Mexico .
- The Ocumare swamp in Venezuela.
- Salta in Argentina .
- Ciénaga del Coro in Argentina.