A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs, and then sometimes called carrs. This form of vegetation is what differentiates marshes from other types of wetland such as swamps, which are dominated by trees, and mires, which are wetlands that have accumulated deposits of acidic peat.
Marshes provide habitats for many kinds of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, waterfowl and aquatic mammals. This biological productivity means that marshes contain 0.1% of global sequestered terrestrial carbon. Moreover, they have an outsized influence on climate resilience of coastal areas and waterways absorbing high tides and other water changes due to extreme weather. Though some marshes are expected to migrate upland, most natural marshlands will be threatened by sea level rise and associated erosion.