Palustrine System. Forested Mineral Soil Wetlands-- Red maple-hardwood swamp community

Red maple hardwood swamp community, photo by Greg Russo

Physical Setting: The Red maple-hardwood swamp occurs in a flat valley just west of Farm to Market Road, near the southeast corner of the study area. It consists of a main quadrangular area (approximately 22,500 m2) and an adjacent rectangular area (approximately 7500 m2). The approximately center of the swamp is at 41.447ºN, 73.606ºW (± 10 m) and about 135 m above sea level.

Substrate and Hydrology: The substrate is composed of deep mineral soil, rich in decomposed organic matter. It remains saturated throughout the year and may have standing water during floods. It has poor drainage and is watered by perennial streams flowing from hills on the eastern side of Farm to Market Road (outside the study area). It is drained by a slow-moving stream that flows westward into the adjacent Deep emergent marsh.

Biota: The vegetation is dominated by trees 10–15 meters tall with a nearly closed canopy. The dominant tree is Acer rubrum L and there are scattered individuals of Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall var. pennsylvanica. The shrub layer is sparse to absent, but those present (especially on the periphery of the swamp) include Vaccinium corymbosum L., Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC. and Viburnum dentatum L. var. lucidum Aiton. The herbaceous layer is rich in shade-tolerant, obligate or facultative wetland species including Impatiens capensis Meerb, Elymus riparius Wiegand, Carex stipitata Muhl. ex Willd. var. stipitata, Leersia oryzoides (L.) Sw., Iris pseudacorus L., Iris versicolor L., Myosotis scorpioides L., Juncus effusus L., Cryptotaenia canadensis (L.) DC. and Ranunculus hispidus Michx. var. caricetorum (Greene) T. Duncan. At Ice Pond, most of these species are restricted to the Red maple-hardwood swamp community.

Cultural: As in the adjacent Deep emergent marsh, stone walls border three sides of the swamp along the boundary between wet and dry soil, but do not appear to cross through the wet part, suggesting that this flat, wet area was segregated from the adjacent uplands and perhaps was not drained.

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