I. Habitat Description
The Shallow Marsh Shrub Habitat represents areas near the shoreline or around lakes, ponds, and backwaters that are >25% vegetated with seasonally flooded shrubby vegetation. It typically grows with mixed emergent grasses and forbs. This general class tends to be drier than wet meadow shrubs. Willows (Salix) are the predominant shrub type. Other indicator species are Dogwood (Corbus), False Indigo (Amorphia), and Swamp Privet (Foresteria). Shallow marsh shrubs are typically found growing in soils that are saturated or inundated with little water.
II. Sensitivity to Oil Spills
The Shallow Marsh Shrub Habitats are highly sensitive to oil spills. This habitat provides a home to many plants and animals. Some of the species that inhabit the emergent wetlands are amphibians, reptiles, fish, a wide variety of invertebrates, as well as waterfowl. There are also a wide variety of plant species.
Oil spills that occur in or near shallow marsh shrub habitats are of particular concern because they are home to many endangered species of plants and animals. Many animal species use this habitat type for reproductive and early life purposes. These animals are most susceptible to the effects of oil during these beginning life stages. Significant loss of this habitat would negatively affect the populations of these animals and consequently, the local ecology.
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.