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swamp

GC: n

CT: A swamp is any wetland dominated by woody plants. There are many different kinds of swamps, ranging from the forested Red Maple, (Acer rubrum), swamps of the Northeast, to the extensive bottomland hardwood forests found along the sluggish rivers of the Southeast. Swamps are characterized by saturated soils during the growing season, and standing water during certain times of the year. The highly organic soils of swamps form a thick, black, nutrient-rich environment for the growth of water-tolerant trees such as Cypress (Taxodium spp.), Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), and Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica). Some swamps are dominated by shrubs, such as Buttonbush or Smooth Alder. Plants, birds, fish, and invertebrates such as freshwater shrimp, crayfish, and clams require the habitats provided by swamps. Many rare species, such as the endangered American Crocodile depend on these ecosystems as well. Swamps may be divided into two major classes, depending on the type of vegetation present: shrub swamps, and forested swamps.

S: http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/swamp.cfm(external link) (last access: 28 February 2015)

N: 1. c.1500 (implied in swampwatyr "swamp-water"), of uncertain origin, perhaps (Barnhart) a dialectal survival from an Old English cognate of Old Norse svöppr "sponge, fungus," from Proto-Germanic swampuz; but traditionally connected with Middle English sompe "morass, swamp," which probably is from Middle Dutch somp or Middle Low German sump "swamp". All of these likely are ultimately related to each other, from PIE swombho- "spongy; mushroom," via the notion of "spongy ground."
2. Used in a restricted sense, the term implicits an area characterized by woody vegetation, but is often more widely to include "marsh", "bog", etc.
3. Swamps and marshes are easily interchanged as they are both areas of vegetation that are susceptible to flooding. In North America they are defined a little differently.
A swamp is a place where the plants that make up the area covered in water are primarily woody plants or trees. Woody plants would be mangroves or cypress trees.
A marsh, on the other hand, is defined as having no woody plants. The non-woody plants would be saltmarsh grasses, reeds, or sedges. Also, marshes are typically not as deep as swamps.
4. Collocations:
  • Common collocations before 'swamp': through, back, like, get, dark, down, over, way, come, now, how, edge, see, just, will.
  • Common collocations of 'swamp': through, back, like, get, dark, down, over, way, come, now, how, edge, see, just, will, here, across, above, can, though, even, warm, still, off, green, away, look, water, around, want.
5. Cultural Interrelation:
  • Fiction: We can mention the movie Swamp Water (1941) directed by Jean Renoir.
  • Reality: America's Everglades - The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.
S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=swamp&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 15 November 2014). 2. GDT. 3. http://beachchairscientist.com/2010/09/13/what-is-the-difference-between-a-swamp-and-a-marsh/(external link) (last access: 15 November 2014). 4. http://prowritingaid.com/collocations-dictionary/swamp/Collocations-of-swamp.aspx(external link) (last access: 20 May 2015). 5. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/movies/homevideo/dana-andrews-in-jean-renoirs-swamp-water-on-blu-ray.html?_r=0(external link) (last access: 31 March 2015); http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm(external link) (last access: 31 March 2015).

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CR: reservoir (EN)

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