Fens

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Terms & Synonyms

Fens

Official WHO Definition

Other Definitions

Fens, are peat-forming wetlands that receive nutrients from sources other than precipitation: usually from upslope sources through drainage from surrounding mineral soils and from groundwater movement. Fens differ from bogs because they are less acidic and have higher nutrient levels. They are therefore able to support a much more diverse plant and animal community. These systems are often covered by grasses, sedges, rushes, and wildflowers. Some fens are characterized by parallel ridges of vegetation separated by less productive hollows. The ridges of these patterned fens form perpendicular to the downslope direction of water movement. Over time, peat may build up and separate the fen from its groundwater supply. When this happens, the fen receives fewer nutrients and may become a bog.

Like bogs, fens are mostly a northern hemisphere phenomenon and are generally associated with low temperatures and short growing seasons, where ample precipitation and high humidity cause excessive moisture to accumulate.

Contents

Interpretations and Explanations

References

WHO-Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

Fens

External Resources

USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/types/fen.html

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