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Coastal plain marsh in Michigan's southern Lower Peninsula.
Wetlands are transitional lands between aquatic and terrestrial systems where
the water table is at or near the surface of the land. These areas are also
characterized by the occurrence of vegetation that is adapted for life in
saturated soil conditions. Wetlands that often dry up part way through the
summer are natural, and many species of frogs and salamanders only lay eggs in
wetlands that dry up regularly (and thus have no predatory fish.) About half of
Michiganís wetlands have been drained, which has caused significant declines in
many wildlife communities. In some situations wetlands can be restored by
removing drain tiles or installing control structures on ditches. Wetlands also
face a host of threats from invasive exotic plants and shrubs. These invasive
species often shade out the native vegetation on which rare wildlife depends. If
you are interested in restoring habitat for wetland wildlife on your property,
see the southeast and
southwest Lower Peninsula LIP pages for more information.