I. Habitat Description
The Deep Marsh Shrub Habitat is found in or around lakes, ponds, backwaters, or shorelines that are >25% vegetated with semipermanently flooded shrubby vegetation. Common vegetation types include buttonbush (Cephalanthus), and swamp loosestrife (Decodon). This general class may have inclusions of submersed, nonrooted-floating aquatics, rooted-floating aquatics, or emergent vegetation. This habitat is more common in southern aquatic systems.
II. Sensitivity to Oil Spills
The Deep Marsh Shrub Habitat is highly sensitive to oil spills. This habitat is valuable to a variety of birds, amphibian, reptile and mammal species as well as micro and macro invertebrates, many of which are extremely sensitive to chemical exposure. During normal water levels, oil would be less likely to penetrate water-saturated soils; during floods, oil would be deposited in areas that dry out after the flood and penetrate the loose, organic-rich surface soils. Light refined oils with high amounts of water-soluble fractions can cause acute mortality to animals and plants. Heavier oils tend to coat vegetation, which may survive if oil coats only the stems or if the roots are unaffected. It is difficult for more viscous oils to penetrate densely vegetated areas.
III. Sensitivity to Response Methods
The following text describes potential adverse impacts to this habitat resulting from various oil spill response methods and provides recommendations to reduce impact when these methods are implemented. This is not intended to preclude the use of any particular methods, but rather to aid responders in balancing the need to remove oil with the possible adverse effects of removal. More detail about the response methods themselves can be found in the Inland Response Tactics Manual.