Some wetland characteristics and processes are indicators of wetland functions. Thus, identification of these indicators help determine: 1) the status of specific wetland functions, 2) changes in functions over time, and 3) allows comparison of functions between similar wetland types.
Refer to the following page - List of Wetland Indicators - for list of technical wetland indicators relating to specific wetland functions. The GLOSSARY contains illustrations and definitions of these wetland indicators.
By definition, tidal and nontidal wetlands have fundamental differences in their hydrology, vegetation and soils, and are subject to different environmental factors that influence their function. Therefore, some indicators are specific to certain wetland types.
1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual
Functional Assessment Methods
Functional assessment of wetlands involves a comprehensive investigation of the three principle components that make a wetland a wetland - hydrology, vegetation and soils. There are several different functional asessment methods currently in use by the various federal, State, and local agencies throughout Maryland. These functional assessment methods are a valuable tool in identifying the current status, and future trends, in the management and protection of wetlands and wetland resources throughout the State.