Freshwater Shoreline Zones and Plants

Question: Can you discuss the four various freshwater shoreline zones? What plants or types of plants belong in each?

Answer: The four types are upland, riparian, emergent and littoral. Upland area is generally the area that’s on the apex of the ridge of a pond bank and these areas are generally dry because the water will run back into the pond. So, in that area you’d want to plant arid loving type plants. The riparian area is the area that leads right up to the shoreline between the upland and the emergent. Generally these areas can be wet or they can be dry, so you’re wanting to find kind of an intermittent plant type for that area. The emergent area is almost always wet, and that’s from the water line at the high water mark and the low water mark. Generally emergent plants are true aquatic plants. The littoral zone is the area from the water line up to about two foot of depth in the water. And these areas you have to have true aquatic plants in that to be planted.

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