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A carr is a type of waterlogged wooded terrain that, typically, represents a succession stage between the original reedy marsh and the likely eventual formation of forest in a sub-maritime climate. Carrs are wetlands that are dominated by shrubs rather than trees. The carr is one stage in a hydrosere: the progression of vegetation beginning from a terrain submerged by fresh water along a river or lake margin. In sub-maritime regions, it begins with reed-marsh. As the reeds decay, the soil surface eventually rises above the water, creating fens that allow vegetation such as sedge to grow.
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As this progression continues, riparian trees and bushes appear and a carr landscape is created – in effect a wooded fen in a waterlogged terrain. At this stage, overall, unlike the overwhelming acidity of decaying reeds, the pH is not too acidic and the soil is not too deficient in minerals, making a habitat for endemic and other wildlife. Characteristic water tolerant trees include alder and willow.
The word carr derives from the Old Norse kjarr, meaning "brushwood" in the word kjarr-mýrr, meaning "marsh overgrown with brushwood."
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