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Characteristic Mid-Atlantic Wetland Type - Vernal Pool

Vernal pool in western Virginia. Credit: Lesley Brown, Bowdoin College

Vernal pools are small, isolated wetlands that usually emerge in depressions in forests, in floodplains, in seasonally flooded woodlands, or as sinkhole ponds. They are seasonally inundated with water, fed by snowmelt, precipitation, and high water tables. Vernal pools are shaded, host minimal vegetation, and rarely have water year round. In the mid-Atlantic, they typically fill with precipitation in fall and winter but usually are dry by the end of the summer. This rare wetland type does not support fish and so provides important habitat (particularly for breeding purposes) for amphibians (such as a frog or salamander) and invertebrates (lacking a backbone) whose numbers otherwise might be less if fish were present.

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Characteristic Wetland Types for the Mid-Atlantic Region




Mid-Atlantic Region || Mid-Atlantic Env'l Assessment & Innovation || Mid-Atlantic Wetlands

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