Wetland Classification

Wetlands vary greatly in their genesis, geographical location, water regime, chemistry, and plant communities. To permit description of the wetlands in Canada, a classification system was developed by the National Wetlands Working Group in 1988. This system classifies wetlands on the basis of their biotic and abiotic characteristics. This system recognizes five main wetland classes in Canada: bogs, fens, marshes, swamps, and shallow open waters. Each of these classes of wetland is further divided into wetland forms based upon surface morphology, landform drainage, and proximity to water bodies. Finally, each form is broken down into different wetland types based upon vegetation morphology.