Habitat Types

One of my common categories is a habitat type.     In the Weekly Wildflowers, there are often several different habitats, depending on what’s at that particular site.    Specific plant posts may only have one habitat, depending on how specialized that plant is.

Aquatic – Plants actually living in water.

Disturbed Habitat – Also called anthropocentric (man-made) habitat.    These are areas altered by humans – the best example anyone has access to is roadsides (really, pretty much any landscape in a city).    It also includes croplands, and would include forest margins, since we’re usually the cause for those.

Mountain – I’m going to use this label for both sub-alpine and alpine habitats, because quite frankly, I’m more of an ambler than a hiker, and there unlikely to visit both.   Sub-alpine is more common in New England – we don’t have the tallest mountains in the country (but they are older!), but there are true alpine environments out there for the hardier hiker.

Raised Bog – A bog is a wetland that accumulates peat – deposits of dead, organic material.   Raised bogs form over lakes or wetlands, and the peat eventually accumulates high enough to form a raised dome.

Riparian – On the banks of a river.

Salt Marsh – Coastal wetlands flooded by tides.    By definition, plants here in the zone that floods must have some way of dealing with or tolerating salt water.

Seashore – Dunes, beaches, or especially here in Maine, the rocky coast immediately on the shoreline.    (Large parts of Maine don’t really do sand beaches.)     Plants here shouldn’t have direct contact with salt water, but would be impacted by salt spray, and need to stand up to the winds and other harsh weather the ocean can throw at them.

Wetland – An area saturated with water either seasonally, or permanently.     I’m using it here for fresh water wetlands.

Woodland – In a true forest.     By definition, any understory plants in this kind of habitat would be shade specialists.    I’ll often have this in posts with Disturbed Habitat, since it’s very hard to get far from forest margins in most of the area I’m in.