Series Preface
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XIII Series Preface The purpose of the four books in the Aquatic and Standing Water Plants of the Central Midwest series is to provide illustrated guides to the plants of the central Midwest that may live in standing or running water at least three months a year, though a particular species may not necessarily live in standing or running water during a given year. The states covered by these guides include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana , Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nebraska, except for the Cumberland Mountain region of eastern Kentucky, which is in a different biological province. Since 1990, I have taught week-long wetland plant identification courses in all of these states on several occasions. The most difficult task has been to decide what plants to include and what plants to exclude from these books. Three groups of plants are within the guidelines of the manuals. One group includes those aquatic plants that spend their entire life with their vegetative parts either completely submerged or at least floating on the water’s surface. This group includes obvious submerged aquatics such as Ceratophyllum, the Najadaceae, the Potamogetonaceae, Elodea, Cabomba, Brasenia, Numphaea, some species of Ranunculus, Utricularia, and a few others. Plants in a second group are called emergents. These plants typically are rooted under water, with their vegetative parts standing above the water surface. Many of these plants can live for a long period of time, even their entire life, out of the water. Included in this group are Sagittaria, Alisma, Peltandra, Pontederia, Saururus, Justicia, and several others. The most difficult group of plants that I had to consider is made up of those wetland plants that live most or all of their lives out of the water, but which on occasion can live at least three months in water. I concluded that I would include within these books only those species that I personally have observed in standing water during the year, or which have been reported in the literature as living in water. In this last group, for example, I have included Poa annua, since Yatskievich, in his Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri (1999), indicates that this species may occur in standing water, even though I have not observed this myself. In these books, I have included most plants that live in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, as well as plants that live in marshes, bogs, fens, wet meadows, sedge meadows, wet prairies, swampy woods, and temporary depressions in woods, on cliffs, and in barrens. Swink and Wilhelm (1999) consider a marsh as a transition between aquatic communities and drier communities, or in large flats which are regularly inundated by shallow surface water for much of the growing season. Cattails are often frequent in marshes. Trees are generally uncommon in a typical marsh. Wet meadows, as treated here, are similar to marshes, but without pools of water. Woody plants are generally absent, and cattails do not dominate and are often not present. XIV / SERIES PREFACE Sedge meadows are similar, except that the overwhelming majority of species is composed of members of the sedge family (Cyperaceae). Wet prairies are also similar , but the dominant vegetation consists of grasses. Ladd (1995) recognizes dry, moist, and wet prairies, and only the last of these is included in these manuals. Fens are wetlands where the underlying groundwater is rich with calcium or magnesium carbonates. Fens may or may not have woody plants present. Swink and Wilhelm (1999) also recognize marly fens that occur on open prairie slopes and hillside fens that are wooded seeps on steep bluffs. Bogs are habitats typified by acidic, usually organic, substrates. However, bogs that have been influenced by carbonate-rich water have been called alkaline bogs by Swink and Wilhelm. Where minerotrophic water is insignificant, acid bogs develop. Floating sedge mats are acidic and often develop in sand flats or basins that rise and fall with the water table. Swampy woods are forested wetlands in poorly drained flats or basins. In areas around Lake Michigan, swamps occur in wet sandy flats and on the moraine in wet depressions and in large flats behind the high dunes. In the southern part of the central Midwest, swampy woods may have standing water throughout the year. Occasional depressions that fill with water harbor species that are included in these books. These depressions may occur in various kinds of woodlands, on exposed sandstone blufftops, and, in Kentucky, even on rocky barrens. Seeps may occur on the...


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