Spring storms bring the threat of damaging wind, hail, flooding, and erosion, but they also restore life to the landscape providing nutrients to plants and soil, and drinking-water for wildlife. This week, on Discover Nature, we celebrate May as American Wetlands Month.
Nearly half of Missouri’s total plant species are associated with wetlands, and more than a quarter of Missouri’s nesting and migratory birds depend on wetlands for part of their life cycle.
Wetlands harbor 200 plant and animal species considered rare or endangered in Missouri, and 43 species of amphibians for breeding and larval development.
Most natural wetlands change continually, and all have a high degree of biological productivity and diversity. Their soils develop in saturated conditions, support water-tolerant plants, and act as a sponge in seasonal water-level changes.
Missouri’s wetlands provide a lifeline for our state’s natural history, biodiversity, and ability to withstand weather events. Get out and enjoy a wetland area near you, and celebrate American Wetland Month.
Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.