The Floating Marshes of Louisiana: A Unique Ecosystem
Extensive floating marshes occur in a few locations around the world. Papyrus swamps of tropical Africa occur along the White Nile, the Okavango and Niger deltas, and along the shoreline of Lake Victoria. There are extensive Phragmites swamps in the Danube Delta in Romania. Seasonal and permanent floating meadows are found in the middle Amazon flood plain. In the Mississippi River Delta Plain, there are large expanses of floating marsh, which are the focus of this video. This unique ecosystem is dominated by a variety of grasses and forbs, which can create a buoyant mat that floats on a layer of water. How these marshes form and some of their unique features are described.