Bogs exist throughout North America, from the southern bayous and swamps to the tundra and plains of the far north. Bogs have a unique wetland ecosystem and are home to a myriad of bird, reptile, amphibian and mammal populations. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, places bogs in the wetlands category.
Pocosins are found in the America southeast. The word pocosin comes from the Algonquin and means "swamp on a hill," according to the EPA. Pocosins exist mostly in North Carolina, and in smaller quantities along the Atlantic Coastal plain from Virginia to Florida. These bogs have dense forests and are subject to fires about every 30 years. Loblolly pines and other evergreens are the dominant tree species in pocosins, and because of the vegetation, pocosins attract black bears.
Found throughout the northern part of North America, northern bogs have short growing seasons and mild, cooler climates. These bogs form out of glacial lakes. Northern bogs have a high sphagnum moss content, which breaks down into peat used for gardening and agriculture. Mammal species in these bogs include moose, deer, black and brown bear, fox and bobcat. The carnivorous pitcher plant often grows in northern bogs.
Muskeg covers approximately 10 percent of Alaska, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Muskeg is a form of northern bog found at high latitudes such as Alaska, northern British Columbia and the Canadian Yukon and Northwest Territories. Like northern bogs, muskeg produces sphagnum moss, which in turn breaks down into peat moss. Moose are frequent visitors in muskeg and are often chest deep in the spongy, muddy ground, chewing aquatic plants. Swans, geese, shore birds, bear and fox also populate muskeg in Alaska. Muskeg develops from cool summers and high amounts of precipitation.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.