Habitat Types

Terrestrial Habitat Types Used in the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan

Habitat Category Description
Wooded Habitats
Forest >60% canopy of tree species with crowns interlocking
Wet - Forest/Woodland Temporarily or seasonally flooded forest or woodland
Woodland Open stands of tree species with 25-60% canopy cover
Wetland Habitats
Wet Shrubland Temporarily, seasonally, and semi-permanently flooded wetlands or saturated deciduous shrubland
Herbaceous Wetlands Temporarily, seasonally, semi-permanently, permanently flooded or saturated herbaceous wetlands
Grassland Habitats
Warm Season Herbaceous Vegetation <25% canopy cover made up of trees or shrub species. Herbs form at least 25% of canopy cover
Savanna Temperate grassland with sparse coniferous or cold-deciduous tree layer
Agricultural Lands
Cool Season Grassland Cool season grassland (smooth brome, forage crops, and pasture)
Cropland Worked land normally on an annual basis in corn, soybeans, sorghum, fallow fields or other crops.

Aquatic Habitat Classes Used in the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan

Aquatic Habitat
River Large flowing bodies of water, normally with permanent flow and draining over 100 square miles.
Stream Smaller flowing bodies of water, normally permanent, that serve as tributaries to rivers and drain less than 100 square miles.
Creek Even smaller flowing stretches, often intermittent and ephemeral, that flow into streams
On-stream Impoundment Slowly flowing bodies of water formed from artificial damming of a river, creek or stream, generally less than 500 acres in size and having a watershed to lake ratio >200:1.
Backwater Slow flowing bodies of water associated with larger river systems. Back-channel low-lying areas filled with water during high flow events but may be completely isolated from the river during low flow and may exhibit no flow during these periods. They are especially prevalent on the Mississippi River.
Oxbow A sub-class of backwaters, they are water bodies formed in old river channels that are now cut off from the main channel and flow of a river
Lake Large bodies of water exhibiting little or no flow with emergent vegetation over less than 25% of the surface area. They may be either natural or constructed.
Shallow Lake Open freshwater systems where maximum depth is less than 10 feet. Normally in a permanent open water state due to the altered hydrology of watersheds and unmanaged outlet structures that maintain artificially high water levels. May be fringed by a border of emergent vegetation in water depths less than 6 feet. When clear, they are dominated by emergent and submergent vegetation.
Pond Smaller standing bodies of water, often exhibiting large swings in dissolved oxygen and water temperatures and generally less than 10 acres in size