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Hello, there — again.

I know some wetlands, reed-covered, waterlogged but not inundated; are these criteria corresponding to wetland=reedbed? I have a doubt about the amount of water: as I understand this tag, it describes inundated reedbeds, but I would like my interpretation to be validated or denied. If I'm right about this tag, then how should I map such areas?

Awaiting your answers,


asked 29 Feb '16, 09:42

Penegal's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hi Penegal, Use natural=wetland, wetland=reedbedas stated in the Wiki. A reed_bed could be or is in a fluctuating water level. If it’s growing in a polder, the water level will be in a constant movement up and down. A river could cause fluctuating water levels as well. Have a look here Reed is a plant that conserves the soil and makes it dry in time. The area has been designated as natural wetland and nature reserve, partly meadow and sometimes even very wet or flooded, boots necessary with reedbeds all around, the only way to make a survey complete is by boat. Its even named Waterland the surface and water levels will change permanently or seasonal.

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answered 29 Feb '16, 11:21

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

Basically it should not be necessary to worry about apparent level of inundation. If the dominant plant is Phragmites (usually P australis) then this is by definition a reedbed.

Phragmites has specific requirements for mmoisture (its Ellenberg indicator for this property is 10), so in practice we can use the presence of the plant to infer the regular presence of water. As Phragmites is rhizotomous a patch of reeds can extend both landwards and into lakes: usually the build-up of litter in drier parts of a reedbed lead to a succession as small trees and shrubs (notably willows & alders) gain a footing.

One caveat, in some languages the vernacular term reed is applied to other plants: usually other grasses, sedges or rushes. In these cases avoid use of wetland=reedbed, and just retain the generic natural=wetland tag. Tagging for areas dominated by Sedges or Cladium is not well defined (although I hope to remedy the latter when I visit Wicken Fen in the Autumn).

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answered 29 Feb '16, 12:43

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

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question asked: 29 Feb '16, 09:42

question was seen: 2,185 times

last updated: 29 Feb '16, 12:43

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum