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Tamarix: A Case Study of Ecological Change in the American West

By: Anna A Sher (Editor), Martin F Quigley (Editor), Julie Stromberg (Foreword By)

488 pages, 111 b/w photos and illustrations, tables

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Mar 2013 | #200711 | ISBN-13: 9780199898206
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £64.99 $79/€73 approx

About this book

Few plant species have had as much combined scientific, public, and political attention as exotic Tamarix spp (tamarisk, saltcedar), attracting the public eye in the early 2000's when widespread drought in the West corresponded to assertions that the introduced tree used as much water as whole cities. This edited volume contains 24 essays by 44 authors on the hybrid swarm that represents invasive tamarisk, including its biology, ecology, politics, history, management, and even the philosophical and ethical issues involved with designating a particular species as "good" or "bad". These works reflect the controversy that has arisen around its role in our ecosystems and what should (or should not) be done about it, particularly in the context of the release of a biological control agent. This is the first text to examine these many facets of this interesting plant with an engaging and sometimes surprising collection of written works from the most important researchers in the field, representing the full spectrum of scientific perspectives.


Julie Stromberg
1. Introduction to the Paradox Plant
Anna Sher

2. Genetics of Tamarix
John Gaskin
3. Measuring Extent and Projections of Tamarix distribution in North America
Catherine Jarnevich, Paul Evangelista, J. Graham
4. Evapotranspiration by tamarisk in the Colorado River Basin
Erika Zavaleta
5. Tamarisk: Ecohydrology of a Successful Plant
Pamela Nagler and Edward Glenn
6. Water use by Tamarix
James Cleverly
7. Tamarix, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology
Daniel A. Auerbach, David M. Merritt, Patrick B. Shafroth
8. Tamarisk and Salinity: an overview
Michelle Ohrtman, Ken Lair

9. Tamarix from organism to landscape
Kevin Hultine+ and Tom Dudley
10. Tamarix as Wildlife Habitat
Heather Bateman, Eben Paxton and William Longland
11. Tamarisk in riparian woodlands: a birds eye view
Mark Sogge, Eben H. Paxton, and Charles van Riper III
12. Tamarix as invertebrate habitat
Stephanie Strudley and Peter Dalin
13. Tamarix and soil ecology
Kelley Meinhardt and Catherine Gehring
14. fire ecology of Tamarix
Gail Drus
15. Tamarix: passenger or driver of ecosystem change?
Tyler D. Johnson

16. Tamarisk Introduction, Naturalization and Control in the United States, 1818-1952
Matthew Chew
17. The Politics of a Tree: How a species became national policy
Tim Carlson
18. A Philosophical Framework for Assessing the Value of the Tamarisk
Naomi Reshotko
19. The horticulture of Tamarix
Martin F. Quigley

20. Tamarix management: Lessons and techniques
Cameron Douglass, Scott Nissen and Charlie Heart
21. Tamarisk management at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Gina Dello Russo
22. Bring on the beetles! The history and impact of tamarisk biological control
Dan Bean, Tom Dudley and Kevin Hultine
23. Riparian restoration in the context of Tamarix control
Patrick. B. Shafroth, David Merritt, Mark Briggs, Vanessa Beauchamp, Kenneth Lair, Michael Scott, and Anna Sher
24. Revegetation After Tamarisk Removal: what grows next?
Robin Bay
25. The future of Tamarix
Anna Sher


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Dr. Anna Sher has been investigating the ecology of tamarisk trees for nearly 20 years and on two continents. She is currently a biology professor at the University of Denver, where her lab is currently focused on restoration of riparian ecosystems and plant communities that arise after the removal of Tamarix. She is frequently asked to speak on the subject of Tamarix and has been the president of the board of the Tamarisk Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to riparian ecosystem health.

Dr. Martin Quigley is a plant ecologist and licensed landscape architect. He is currently the Kurtz Professor of Botany at the University of Denver, where he teaches Conservation Biology, Ethnobotany, Ecology, and Restoration Ecology. He strives to make explicit the connection between science and design in maintenance and restoration of fragmented landscapes.

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