Found in the floodplains of rivers and streams, these wetland communities depend on water. Unlike a swamp where (water is always present), bottomland hardwood forests experience seasonal flooding.
Before the arrival of European settlers, bottomland hardwood forest were a lot more common in Arkansas. Little by little, settlers cleared the land to plant crops. Some species of birds, including the ivory-billed woodpecker, were driven to extinction when the forest disappeared.
Flood-tolerant trees like the bald cypress and water tupelo survive-and thrive-in these areas.
The role of flooding
Flooding is not alway a bad thing. In fact, hardwood forests depend on it! Changing water levels help maintain the healthy of the ecosystem. When floods occur, water often accumulates throughout the forests, and these water stores come in handy during dry periods. Flooding also prevents decay among plants, allowing nutrients to build up.
Who lives here?
Rich forest soils are prime real estate for more than 70 species of trees. The river is home to 241 species of fish, 37 species of mussel, 45 amphibians, 50 mammals and diverse population of birds.
Many cannot survive anywhere else.A third of the nation's threatened and endangered plants
and animals rely on wetland habitats.
Constructs nest in large, dead trees in open and swampy woodlands.
Often migrates during the night, using the start to direct itself.
Because it grows quickly this tree is used to restore bottomland hardwood forests on land that was preciously cleared for agriculture.
Loves flooded forests, feeding on rodents, birds, and crayfish.
A summer visitor to Arkansas's wetlands. Nests in trees in areas subject to flooding.
Lives along the rivers, lakes, and marshes.
Requires mature stands of hardwood trees for perching, roosting, and nesting.
These large rodents live in freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, usuallly near woodlands.