Ecological History and Possible Futures
Publication Year: 2014
This study includes in-depth information about the ecological and human history of Suisun Marsh, its abiotic and biotic characteristics, agents of ecological change, and alternative futures facing this ecosystem.
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Suisun Marsh is one of the most remarkable natural areas in California. It is the largest tidal wetland in the state and perhaps on the Pacific coast. It not only serves as a refuge for a high diversity of native plants and animals, but is a major area of “open space” in an increasingly urban region. Yet Suisun Marsh may also...
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We thank our many colleagues who have roamed the Marsh with us and shared their knowledge of its flora, fauna, and ecology. The many enthusiastic and skeptical participants in the 2011 Suisun Marsh symposium collectively encouraged us to write this book. The symposium was sponsored by the Delta Science...
Peter B. Moyle, Amber D. Manfree, and Peggy L. Fiedler
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Suisun Marsh has always been regarded as a remarkable place, made especially attractive by its abundance of fish, wildlife, and useful plants. The remarkable nature of Suisun Marsh stems from the coincidence of a number of factors. Size. At about 470 km2, the Marsh is often referred to as the largest brackish-water...
2. Historical Ecology
Amber D. Manfree
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Suisun Marsh is a place of constant and relatively rapid change, with vital connections to regional ecological processes. It is not a place of stasis or isolation. One of the first things to become apparent when looking at historical maps is how natural forces such as faulting, winds, tides, and river flows have sculpted...
3. Physical Processes and Geomorphic Features
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Suisun Marsh is an uncommon place. Geologically, the Marsh is a very young landscape that occupies a widening of the Holocene river valley that drained the Central Valley between 10,000 and 3,000 years ago when sea level was about 2 m lower than today. Sea level rose rapidly up to around 6,000 years ago when tidal...
4. Shifting Mosaics: Vegetation of Suisun Marsh
Brenda J. Grewell, Peter R. Baye, and Peggy L. Fiedler
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To those who have experienced Suisun Marsh, mere mention of this vast wetland conjures images of saltgrass– pickleweed plains and robust sedges that sway to the Suisun winds and tides along a complex labyrinth of tidal sloughs and shorelines. Upon closer look, the richness and diversity of the tidal flora and...
5. Waterfowl Ecology and Management
Joshua T. Ackerman, Mark P. Herzog, Gregory S. Yarris, Michael L. Casazza, Edward Burns, and John M. Eadie
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Suisun Marsh has long been a favored place for waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans). Before the first duck clubs were established in 1879, market hunters had used the Marsh for at least 20 years, and they continued to hunt it until market hunting was outlawed in 1918 with the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act...
6. Terrestrial Vertebrates
Alison N. Weber-Stover and Peter B. Moyle
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Tidal wetlands comprise roughly 45,000 km2 globally and are present in isolated pockets or relatively narrow bands along coastlines, including that of the San Francisco Estuary (Greenberg et al. 2006b). They constitute a very distinctive biotic arena because of low overall plant diversity, wide variations in salinity...
7. Fishes and Aquatic Macroinvertebrates
Teejay A. O’Rear and Peter B. Moyle
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Suisun Marsh contains some of the most important habitats for fishes and macroinvertebrates in the San Francisco Estuary (Moyle et al. 2012). More than 50 species of fish have been collected from the Marsh, 27 of which occur frequently enough to be part of at least seasonal fish assemblages, along with eight species...
8. Suisun Marsh Today: Agents of Change
Stuart W. Siegel
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Suisun Marsh has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. The principal subject of this book— the future of Suisun Marsh— is about looking forward with the intention of directing that change toward a positive outcome in the future. The problem, of course, is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so...
9. Alternative Futures for Suisun Marsh
Peter B. Moyle, Amber D. Manfree, Peggy L. Fiedler, and Teejay A. O’Rear
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Projected changes in climate over the next 100 years will have major impacts on California, especially on the San Francisco Estuary. These changes are already underway and are expected to accelerate (Lund et al. 2007; Moyle et al. 2012). Impacts on the Estuary will include inundation by rising sea level of many acres of...
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Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2014