Wetland Field Trip
1. Who owns Rose Lake and how does it serve the public?
Rose Lake is owned by the state of Michigan. Rose Lake used to be a farm, now it is a place for the public to hike, bike and walk the gently rolling hills. It is also home to different animal habitats, like lakes, wetlands and forest.
2. Why are wetlands valuable to us? What services do they provide for us?
Wetlands are valuable to people because they filter pollutants from the water, they provide spawning areas for certain fish and are home to many species of plants and animals. Wetlands filter our drinking water and regulate the water’s flow.
3. How have we used them in the past? Is that changing?
In the past, people have neglected the wetlands, polluting them and even draining their waters. Today, federal and state government is allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up and restore these vital ecosystems.
4. Why are the soils unique in a wetland? What is the difference between a swamp, bog and a marsh?
The soil in a wetland is unique because it is saturated with water most of the year. Wetlands are also marked by their high concentration of organic material. Swamps consist of mostly large trees that have adapted to living in the water. Swamps have better drainage than a bog and more woody plants than a marsh. A bog is composed mainly of shrubs and herbs and some trees. The ground in a bog is wet, spongy and acidic on the pH scale. Marshes are soft, wet and low-lying, they are usually found between water and land, they do not have the larger plants and trees that bogs and swamps do.
5. Results of testing water quality and soil texture in the marsh:
What do your results suggest about the diversity of a marsh ecosystem? Why?
6. What type of marsh was the second marsh? What purpose did it serve?
7. What differences did you notice between the first and second marsh we visited?
8. What producers did you see at the first marsh? What producers did you see at the second marsh? How do you think the different producers affect the “services” provided by a marsh area?
9. What consumers did you see? What consumers are likely to be there that you didn’t see?