Tidal freshwater swamps are unique wetland systems occupying low relief coastal areas subjected to both upland runoff and tidal flooding. These systems are especially vulnerable to pressure from human development and to climate change impacts of sea-level rise and increased drought/flood frequency. While these systems have received rather nominal scientific attention, the ecological dynamics, state-wide distribution, and conservation status of these communities is poorly understood.
This book brings together a group of investigators whose principal research focus has targeted hydrological processes, community organization, and stress physiology of freshwater, tidally influenced land-margin forests of the southeastern United States. The book describes the land use history that led to the restricted distribution of these swamps, followed by descriptions of the hydrology, soils, biogeochemistry, and physiological ecology of these systems with special attention on similarities shared among tidal freshwater swamps.
Overviews of tidal swamps along the Pocomoke River (Maryland), Chesapeake Bay (Virginia, North Carolina), Waccamaw River (South Carolina), Savannah River (South Carolina, Georgia), Suwannee River (Florida), and Waccasassa Bay (Florida) are presented for more specific detail. In addition, micro-tidal swamps along the rapidly subsiding Louisiana coast in the Manchac Swamp and wetlands in the Barataria and Terrebonne regions of Louisiana are described as examples of heavily degraded wetlands.
From the reviews: "Tidal freshwater wetlands, upstream from saline coastal estuaries, present remarkable habitats now threatened by a variety of factors including climate change and sea level rise. The editors, along with 50 contributors ! here present recent, much-needed studies of these endangered areas. ! The volume offers good reviews of the current use and conservation of these forested wetlands, with ample suggestions about future research needs. ! This handbook is well referenced and illustrated throughout. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduate through professionals/practitioners." (C. Leck, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (5), January, 2008) "The editors of this book have successfully brought together ecologists actively engaged in research on these systems ! and widely dispersed grey literature to provide a comprehensive review of research findings. ! For those interested in coastal wetlands, or systems that are driven by strong hydrological fluctuations, this book will be a valuable resource." (Siobhan Fennessy, Ecology, Vol. 89 (10), 2008)
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