Deep Marsh Annuals

This tool lists various Habitat Fact Sheets developed by the Region 5 Regional Response Team. To suggest additions to this tool, please contact Barbi Lee. Click here for Inland Response Tactics Manual.

Rice Lake Deep MarshNorthern Wild Rice bed in Minnesota lake.Wild RiceWild Rice stand in Pool 9 of the Upper Mississippi River.Floating leaf wild rice in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River.Wild Rice in floating leaf stageWild Rice HarvestWild Rice IdentificationWild Rice Flowers

    I. Habitat Description

    The deep marsh annuals habitat includes portions of lakes, ponds, marshes, or backwaters that are >10% vegetated with wild rice (Zizania). While this habitat is dominated by wild rice, it may have inclusions of submersed, non-rooted-floating aquatics, rooted-floating aquatics, or emergent vegetation. Deep marsh annuals are typically found in areas which are flooded semipermanently and have water depths between 0.25 and 2 meters with a silt or mucky bottom. During normal water conditions, there is little flow, though there can be wind-generated currents and stronger flows at inlets and outlets. During flood conditions, these habitats can be connected to rivers or streams, have strong currents, and the potential to carry large amounts of debris.

    II. Sensitivity to Oil Spills

    The deep marsh annuals habitat is highly sensitive to oil spills. This biologically diverse habitat provides a home to many plants and animal species, including amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates as well as a wide variety of migratory waterfowl and plants. Many animal species use wetlands for reproductive and early life phases, during which they are most susceptible to the effects of oil. Significant loss of this habitat would greatly affect the populations of these animals and consequently, the local ecology. During normal water levels, oil would be less likely to penetrate water-saturated soils; during floods, oil could be deposited in areas that dry out after the flood, and penetrate the loose, organic-rich surface soils.

    III. Sensitivity to Response Methods

    Relevant response tactics are ordered below by least-to-most adverse habitat impact. Bullet points list quick-reference information regarding the tactic; any potential adverse impacts of its use; and suggestions for mitigation of these impacts if available. This is not intended to preclude the use of any particular tactic, but rather to aid responders in choosing the tactic(s) best suited to a specific habitat. For more information on a tactic, click on it or go to the corresponding section in the Inland Response Tactics Manual.