The module focuses on wetland functions attributed directly to hydric soils. Functions are the biological, chemical, and physical processes that occur in wetlands. Hydric soils play a direct role in the wetland functions of water retention (short term and long term), sedimentation, carbon sequestration and biogeochemical cycling of nutrients. Due to their capacity to become anaerobic close to the surface, hydric soils support unique plant communities and wildlife habitat unlikely to be found in uplands. Functional capacity is influenced by landscape position, hydrologic characteristics, and soil characteristics. Soil characteristics that affect wetland functions include porosity, permeability, drainage class/hydroperiod, organic matter content, slope, micro-topography, and chemical properties.
Target audience: Wetland field practitioners who need expertise in hydric soils and seek to understand how hydric soils are formed and how to recognize and interpret the information they provide when observed in the field.