Chapter Objectives

(Keyed to Tiner, Ralph W. 2005.  In Search of Swampland:  A Wetland Sourcebook and Field Guide, Second Edition.  Rutgers University Press.  ISBN 0-8135-3681-2.  336 p.)

Chapter 1 Wetlands:  Human History, Use, and Science
Chapter 2 Definitions of Wetlands
Chapter 3 Wetlands of the World
Chapter 4 Wetlands of North America
Chapter 5 Wetland Hydrology
Chapter 6 Wetland Biogeochemistry
Chapter 7 Biological Adaptations to the Wetland Environment
Chapter 8 Wetland Ecosystem Development
Chapter 9 Tidal Salt Marshes
Chapter 10 Tidal Freshwater Marshes
Chapter 11 Mangrove Swamps
Chapter 12 Freshwater Marshes
Chapter 13 Peatlands (Bogs and fens)
Chapter 14 Freshwater Swamps
Chapter 15 Riparian Ecosystems
Chapter 16 Values and Valuation of Wetlands
Chapter 17 Human Impacts and Management of Wetlands
Chapter 18 Wetland Laws and Protection
Chapter 19 Wetland Creation and Restoration
Chapter 20 Treatment Wetlands
Chapter 21 Classification, Inventory, and Delineation of Wetlands
Invasive Species


Learning Objectives (a.k.a. the Study Guide)

for Mitsch, W. J. and J. G. Gosselink.  2000Wetlands, 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  NY.  920 pp.  ISBN 0-471-29232-X.

Chapter 1                        Wetlands:  Human History, Use, and Science

When you have mastered this chapter and the accompanying lecture, you should be able to:

  1. list, discuss, and give examples of the values of wetlands.
  2. define or characterize the following terms as they relate to wetlands

Carboniferous period


'kidneys of the landscape'

'biological supermarket'


Marsh Arabs


Zizania aquatica


'duck stamp'


wetland scientist vs. wetland manager


ecosystem services

Ramsar Convention

wetland delineation

  1. explain the philosophy that, prior to the mid-1970s, held that the drainage and destruction of wetlands were accepted or even encouraged by government agencies.
  2. explain to a non-scientist why some wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on earth.
  3. distinguish between the terms biota, flora, and fauna.
  4. name at least one wetland research center, professional society, and journal.
  5. give several examples of private organizations that have protected large expanses of wetlands.
  6. name at least two agencies of the US government that play major roles in the management of US wetlands.

Chapter 2                        Definitions of Wetlands

When you have mastered this chapter and the accompanying lecture, you should be able to:

  1. explain why there are so many definitions of the term 'wetland'.
  2. list the three major factors that define a wetland.
  3. define or characterize the following terms as they relate to wetlands



hydric soils

emergent properties

obligate facultative


Chapter 3 & 4                       Wetlands of the World and North America

When you have mastered these chapters, the accompanying lecture, and the PowerPoints, you should be able to have a general understanding of the diversity and complexity of the numerous types of wetlands.


Chapter 9                        Tidal Salt Marshes

When you have mastered this chapter, the accompanying lecture and PowerPoint, you should be able to:

  1. describe their geographical distribution
  2. discuss tidal mechanics; i.e., what causes high tide, low tide, etc.
  3. estimate the age of northern salt marshes.
  4. name and discuss the factors that determine salt marsh stability?  (p. 269)
  5. describe the factors determining the salinity levels they face; recall that salt marsh plants are often euryhaline.
  6. describe why salt marshes are sometimes said to be among the most productive of ecosystems.  Tidal subsidy is a phrase used to describe the source of this productivity.  Explain this. (p. 289)
  7. describe the factors that cause salt marshes to show biological zonation from the low marsh area to the uplands. What causes this zonation?  Name species of plants and animals to be found in these zones.

Chapter 13. Peatlands (Bogs and Fens)

When you have mastered this chapter, the accompanying lecture and PowerPoints dealing with Bogs and Carnivorous Plants, you should be able to:

  1. distinguish between a bog and a fen (rich and poor); how does their vegetation differ?
  2. define the following terms:
    • acidophilic
    • ombrotrophic
  3. describe the geographic distribution of peatlands on a worldwide and Pennsylvania basis.
  4. name the state having the largest amount of peatlands.
  5. name the two primary processes necessary for peatland development.
  6. describe the three major bog formation processes:  quaking peatland succession (terrestrializaton), paludification, and flowthrough succession.
  7. discuss how bogs allow us to interpret past climate.
  8. appreciate the important role played by Sphagnum in the biochemistry of a bog.
  9. discuss other vegetational adaptations of peatland species.
  10. discuss the presence of carnivorous plants in bogs; what are their adapations?  Why are they restricted to these ecosystems?


Chapter 15. Riparian Ecosystems

When you have mastered this chapter, the accompanying lecture and PowerPoint, and walked the KC Riparian Interpretive Trail, you should be able to:

  1. define the term riparian and riparian forest buffer.
  2. describe the ecological and ecosystem services provided by intact riparian ecosystems.
  3. describe the conditions that make them unique among other wetlands:
    • linearity, transitional, ecotone
  4. distinguish between allochthonous and autochthonous sources of energy and nutrients to the adjacent stream.
  5. explain how western riparian ecosystems differ from those we are familiar with in the east.
  6. given an example of a drainage system, evaluate the stream order of any designated segment.
  7. describe and give examples of the biota of the eastern riparian systems exemplified in this geographic area.
  8. describe the river continuum concept.
  9. discuss the greatest threats to riparian ecosystems in our area.
  10. describe methods of remediation for damage caused by these threats.
  11. outline a possible streambank enhancement program to remediate flood damage to Ackerly Creek near Christy Mathewson Field.  (The terms listed below may be helpful.)
  12. describe the impact of an intact riparian buffer zone and canopy on stream temperature, shading, nutrient and sediment loading, biodiversity, etc.
  13. discuss the importance of land use patterns in a watershed to the health and need for intact riparian buffer zones.
  14. describe the 'three-zone buffers'.
  15. define the following terms:
    • non-point source pollution
    • pollution
    • hard and soft armoring
    • rip-rap
    • live stakes
    • gabions
    • fascine
    • coir
    • root wads

Chapter 21. Classification, Inventory, and Delineation of Wetlands

When you have mastered this pp. 737-758 of this chapter, the accompanying lecture and PowerPoint, you should be able to:

  1. define the term delineation.
  2. explain why there is a need for wetland delineation.
  3. list the three wetland characteristics that must be documented by the presence of wetland conditions.
  4. define "the manual" and "the Corps".
  5. interpret a National Wetlands Inventory map to decode the Cowardin (1979) classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats.
  6. define the following words in terms of the Cowardin classification scheme:
    • systems:  marine, estuarine, riverine, lacustrine, palustrine
    • subsystems:  subtidal, intertidal, tidal, lower perennial, upper perennial, intermittent, limnetic, littoral
  7. describe the status known as "normal circumstances" as they apply to wetland delineation.
  8. describe conditions that are not under normal circumstances as they apply to wetland delineation.
  9. outline the steps involved in conducting a comprehensive wetland delineation.
  10. outline how one determines whether a "predominance of wetland vegetation" exists at a site.
  11. explain the 50/20 rule.
  12. define the three vegetation strata: overstory, shrub, and understory.
  13. list and describe the primary and secondary hydrology indicators of a wetland.
  14. explain the definition and use of the FAC-neutral test.
  15. list and site examples of morphological plant adaptations that can serve as secondary hydrology indicators.
  16. list and explain indicators of the presence of hydric soils.
  17. define the following terms:
    • histosol, histic epipedon, sulfidic material, gleying. mottles, chroma, oxidized rhizosphere


Invasive Species

When you have mastered this section, the accompanying lecture and PowerPoints, you should be able to:

  1. define the terms:  invasive, exotic, and introduced.
  2. propose hypotheses regarding how these species are introduced.

  3. discuss the ecological impacts that introduced species may have on natural ecosystems.

  4. discuss and evaluate control methods for invasives, including mechanical, chemical, and biological strategies.