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Field Guide to Tidal Wetland Plants of the Northeastern United States and Neighboring Canada

Vegetation of Beaches, Tidal Flats, Rocky Shores, Marshes, Swamps, and Coastal Ponds

Ralph W. Tiner

Publication Year: 2009

First published in 1987, Ralph W. Tiner's A Field Guide to Coastal Wetland Plants of the Northeastern United States soon established itself as the definitive work on its subject. Now Tiner has prepared a revised and expanded edition, broadening the coverage both botanically and geographically. It emphasizes plant identification and includes descriptions of over 700 species and illustrations of approximately 550 species. More tidal wetland types are covered (beaches, rocky shores, and tidal swamps) and the geographic scope extends as far north as Canada's Maritime Provinces.

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. vii-viii

Figures, Tables, and Maps

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiii

When I was in college during the late 1960s, there were no courses in wetlands. The term wetland was not as widely used as it is today. Instead, these periodically waterlogged or flooded lands were simply called marshes, swamps, bogs, or by a host of other common names. My college textbook on ecology, Eugene Odum’s Fundamentals of Ecology (W. B. Saunders Company, 1967) did not use the term wetland and had only a few references to wetland habitats, namely salt marshes and mangroves. At this time, wetlands were still being dredged, filled, and drained on a large scale as their natural values were not fully appreciated by the public. ...

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Note of Caution

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pp. xv

Before you handle any plants, please learn to recognize poisonous plants. The two most familiar ones that cause serious skin irritations are woody plants: poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans, Species 345) and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix, Species 283). Both have compound leaves, with the first having leaves divided into three leaflets and the latter having leaves divided into seven to thirteen leaflets. ...

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pp. xvii-xviii

I extend my sincere thanks to the many individuals who have helped with the preparation of this book and the original edition. Most of the illustrations were drawn by Abigail Rorer, whose contribution helped bring the plant descriptions to life. ...

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pp. 1-2

Estuaries are among the world’s most productive natural ecosystems. The interaction between land and water resources leads to virtually unrivaled productivity that supports major coastal fisheries around the globe. More than two-thirds of the recreationally and commercially important fishes in the United States depend on tidal wetlands and associated estuarine waters for nursery and spawning grounds, and for some states, more than 90 percent of these species depend on the marsh–estuary complex. ...

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Tidal Wetland Types

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pp. 3-11

Tidal wetlands are typically low-lying areas subject to tidal flooding. They are associated with saltwater embayments and tidal rivers along the coastline (Plate 1). These coastal wetlands include both nonvegetated and vegetated areas that either are inundated by salt or brackish water or are strictly freshwater areas where water levels are under tidal influence. ...

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Overview of Plant Characteristics

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pp. 13-40

To identify plants using this book, you will need a basic understanding of the plant characteristics that are used in the keys and mentioned in the species descriptions. The book focuses on identification of vascular plants—plants with vascular tissue for moving fluids through the plant (i.e., xylem for moving water and phloem for moving food). Vascular plants include seed-bearing plants such as trees, shrubs, and flowering herbs; spore-bearing plants such as ferns and fern allies...

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How to Identify Plants Using This Book

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pp. 41-44

For plant identification, a set of dichotomous keys are provided, followed by a section containing plant descriptions and illustrations. Be sure to read the introduction to Plant Descriptions and Illustrations following the keys as it explains the structure of the descriptions and other pertinent details. ...

Keys for Tidal Wetland and Aquatic Plant Identification

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pp. 45-71

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Plant Descriptions and Illustrations

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pp. 73-76

The following descriptions and illustrations are intended to present characteristics useful in confirming that the plant in hand is the illustrated species. Each species entry includes the common name; references to scientific names (current and the more recent former name); plant family (common and scientific names); description of life form (including maximum height), leaves, flowers, and fruits; flowering period (throughout its range); if applicable, the fruiting period; habitats (tidal and nontidal); wetland indicator status; range; and similar species. ...

Plants of Salt and Brackish Tidal Waters

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pp. 77-83

Plants of Fresh Tidal Waters

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pp. 85-104

Plants of Tidal Mudflats

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pp. 105-117

Plants of Coastal Beaches

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pp. 119-143

Plants of Salt and Brackish Marshes

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pp. 145-232

Plants of Tidal Freshwater Wetlands

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pp. 233-417

Illustration Credits

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pp. 419-422

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Appendix: Places to Explore Tidal Wetlands

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pp. 423-437

Coastal wetlands are easily seen from highways, causeways, and bridges leading to the beaches and seashore communities. For a closer look, visit a refuge, wildlife management area, park, nature sanctuary, or natural preserve owned by federal, provincial, state, or local agencies or private nonprofit organizations. These conservation areas encourage public use and often have interpretive trails through or beside the wetlands. ...


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pp. 439-442


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pp. 443-445


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pp. 447-459

E-ISBN-13: 9781613761694
E-ISBN-10: 1613761694
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558496668
Print-ISBN-10: 1558496661

Page Count: 488
Publication Year: 2009