Palustrine System

Open Canopy
Inland Noncalcareous Pond Shore
This habitat is generally present only along the undeveloped shores of Birchwood, Crystal, and Sunset lakes, where it appears seasonally in periods of low water in late summer.  Plants which occur in this habitat are adapted to cycles of inundation and exposure.

Species found here include Engelmann’s and spiny-spored quillworts, water smartweed, and Pennsylvania smartweed, as well as beached emergents and submergents such as fragrant water lily, spatterdock, water shield, and pondweeds.  Though not rare, the quillworts, which are relatives of the ferns, are often difficult to find unless exposed by low water.
Northern New Jersey Shrub Swamp
Represents an uncommon community in the Borough, and is restricted to small areas in Wilcox and Frederick parks.  This type, termed shrub/scrub wetlands by some authorities (Tiner 1985), is often associated with streams. Dominant shrubs include highbush blueberry and sweet pepperbush, with smaller numbers of winterberry, red and black chokeberry, smooth alder, red osier dogwood, arrowwood, and swamp rose.  Small red maples and sour gums are also present, along with herbaceous plants such as cinnamon fern, royal fern, sensitive fern, marsh fern, meadow rue, bugleweed, tussock sedge and peat moss species.  Shrub swamp is a habitat that often grades into the red maple swamp community (see below), and may be simply a successional stage.

Inland Red Maple Swamp
Fairly common in the Borough, present in Wilcox and Frederick parks, and in private and conservation easement lands near Route 46.  This swamp occurs along streams, areas with poor drainage, and along the undeveloped edges of Birchwood, Crystal, and Sunset lakes.  The predominant tree is red maple, with smaller numbers of sour gum, swamp ash, and swamp white oak.  The predominant shrub species in this community are highbush blueberry and sweet pepperbush, with markedly lower numbers of plants such as spicebush, buttonbush, and arrowwood.  Common ground cover includes royal, cinnamon, sensitive and marsh ferns, skunk cabbage, jack-in-the-pulpit, tussock sedge, and peat moss species.

Inland Acidic Seepage Slope
A small area of this unusual and rare community type was found in mixed oak forest on a hillside in Wilcox Park.  Most wetlands occur in level terrain along watercourses, in poorly drained areas, or in sites where the water table is near the surface.  Seepage slopes may be created by the presence of a shallow fragipan in the soil which forces water to flow along or just beneath the surface (Breden 1989).  A seepage slope forms a microhabitat markedly different from surrounding uplands.  Skunk cabbage, peat moss species, and cinnamon fern are the predominant plants at this site.  Small numbers of club-spur orchid, matricary grape fern, triangle grape fern, and least grape fern were also found here, growing along the edges of the seep.  Although triangle and least grape ferns do not appear on any state threatened or endangered list, they are considered uncommon or rare by some authorities (Montgomery and Fairbrothers 1992).