Shorelines quickly adapt to the rise and fall of water levels, as the photos above illustrate.
Photo 1 (upper left) shows a patch of wetland along the Pigeon River near Sheldon, Mich., when water levels dropped more than 1.5 feet from the previous year. Photo 2 (upper right) shows the same patch one year later, when annual emergent plants grew from the seed bank. Photo 3 (lower left), from 2001, displays the perennial emergent plants that displaced annuals along the shore. Photo 4 (lower right), from 2003, shows the shift to a different perennial plant community.