A scrub-shrub wetland typifies a community in transition and exemplifies the dynamic nature of wetlands in general. Many emergent wetlands, left undisturbed, will gradually be replaced through succession by woody vegetation that will in time develop northeastern Illinois, which climax with the scrub-shrub phase.

The scrub-shrub wetland is often found grading shoreward from an emergent wetland which borders a lake, stream, or pond. The woody vegetation accounts for at least 30% of the vegetation present, and must be less than 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

Species composition is dependent on the length of inundation, with willows and dogwood growing in the temporarily to seasonally wet areas (PSS1A, PSS1C) and buttonbush in semipermanently flooded areas (PSS1F).

The soils in this community typically are wet phases of alluvial soils. They may have been cropland at one time, particularly where they border large constructed reservoirs. Most of the materials range in reaction from strongly acid to neutral. The major soils include Wakeland silt loam, Birds silt loam, Belknap silt loam, Bonnie silt loam, Karnak silty clay, and Sawmill silty clay loam.


*Used throughout the community descriptions to indicate the most commonly occurring code in Illinois