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Swetts Meadow

 Welcome to Swetts Meadow!

Swetts Meadow is located in Limington, ME and owned by the state. Swetts Meadow is roughly 20-25 minutes from the USM Gorham campus. I chose this wetland because I can access it easily and I know how to get there; I drive by every week so it is convenient to stop and make observations. This wetland is classified as a Wet Meadow - dominantly freshwater forested/shrub swamp. Swetts Meadow has an access point by the roadway, and is circled by a forested area.

Wetland Characteristics

Soil 
Soil classification shows that the majority of the soil in the meadow is sandy loam mixed with areas of wet peat. Approximately 56.3 acres of
Swetts Meadow has soil classified as being hydric. Soils with hydric conditions develop under saturation, flooding, or ponding conditions long enough to develop aerobic conditions in the upper portion of the soil. Based on this definition, the hydric soils at Swetts Meadow are dark and wet with high accumulation of organic matter (Web Soil Survey, 2012).

Hydrology
There are many water features to consider, including water table, flooding frequency, ponding frequency, and surface water. Firstly, the "water table" refers to a saturated zone in the soil (Web Soil Survey, 2012). In Swetts Medow, the depth to water table ranges from 0-25 cm where the hydric soils are located, and 50-100 cm where soil is not classified as hydric. Flooding frequency in the hydric area is considered none to rare, and the ponding frequency is classified as frequent. When I visited the wetland, there was standing water.


Vegetation

Vegetation I expect to see at the meadow.
The Maine DEP’s a Guide for Code Enforcement Officers (Tiner, 2012), USGA PLANT Database (USGA, 2012), and Vegetation of Maine Wetlands lecture notes (Wilson, 2012) were used to gather all information present, all accessed on 3/30/12

Wetland Type

Common Name

Scientific Name

Growth Form

Wetlands Indicator Class

Abundance (Based on site visit)

PUB/SS1Fh

tussock sedge

Carex stricta

sedge

OBL

Dominant

 

bluejoint reed grass

Calamagrostis canadensis

grass

FACW

rare

 

reed canary grass

Phalaris arundinacea

grass

FACW

rare

 

bulrush

Scirpus litoralis

sedge

OBL

Dominant

 

wool grass

Scirpus cyperinus

sedge

FACW

rare

PSS3/1Eh, PSS1/EM1Eh, PFO4/2E

steeplebush

Spiraea tomentosa

shrub

FACW


 

broadleaved meadowsweet

Spiraea latifolia

shrub

FAC


 

willows

Salix ___

tree/shrub

FACW/OBL


 

speckled alder

Alnus incana

shrub

NI


 Wildlife & Other Interesting Facts 

  


 Besides the occasional insect, I did not see any aquatic organisms. I did see some vegetation growing below the surface of the water, which needs to be identified. The wetland appeared to be in good condition, besides the rusty culvert and a sign post in the water. Since a road cuts through a portion of the meadow, it may be affected by the application of road salts in the winter, heavy metals from car exhaust, and other disturbances. It would be interesting to look into some of these factors.   

I researched Swetts Meadow on Academic Search Complete, Environment Search Complete, and Google Scholar, but no results were found. A simple google search resulted in finding some sparse information about the meadow. From TopoZone.com, I found a topographic map of the wetland - along with the following information:

            “Swetts Meadow is a Swamp in the state of Maine (county of York), located at latitude-longitude coordinates of N 43.72948 and W-70.7009. Swetts Meadow is shown in the center of the topographic (topo) map, which is sourced from the United States Geographical Survey map USGS Limington quad. The nearest major town is Limington, ME” (TopoZone, 2012).    

Other than this small bit of information, I found this location listed on a hunting website titled expertgps.com, catering to the York, County area. Coordinates were listed, as well as an interactive aerial map.



References:

Expert GPS. (2012). Accessed on April 2nd, 2012. http://www.expertgps.com/

National Wetlands Inventory (2012). Accessed on January 22nd, 2012. http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/

Tiner, Ralph W. (2012). Maine Wetlands and their Boundaries: A Guide for Code Enforcement Officers. Maine DEP. Accessed on March 30th, 2012. http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/wetlands/meadow.htm

TopoZone (2012). Accessed on April 2nd, 2012. http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=43.7294&lon=-70.7014&s=50&size=s

United States Department of Agriculture. (2012). Web Soil Survey. http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx

United States Fish and Wildlife Service. (2012). Wetlands Mapper: USGS Topo. http://107.20.228.18/Wetlands/WetlandsMapper.html

USGA Wetland Indicator Status (2012). USGA PLANTS Database. Accessed on March 30th, 2012. http://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html

Wilson, Karen. (2012). Vegetation of Maine Wetlands. Lecture 5 Notes. [pdf]. Accessed on March 30th, 2012.


Wetland information and photos by Erin Henry, Department of Environmental Science, Class of 2013
Last updated on April 24th, 2012 by Erin Henry



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