With disruptions such as climate change and urbanization and large-scale declines in many plants and animals, humans must learn to coexist with other species. In a case study of urban biodiversity, Erik Kiviat and Kristi MacDonald present two decades of data and assessment of the habitats and biota of the Meadowlands. Urban Biodiversity: The Natural History of the New Jersey Meadowlands documents the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, seed plants, mosses, and lichens of the Meadowlands region and their patterns of occurrence. The work records the natural history of an urban-industrial region, helping decision-makers foster the biodiversity that thrives in cities and giving planners tools to reduce the biological degradation that occurs with urbanization.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1: The Environmental Setting of the Meadowlands
Chapter 2: Habitats: Marshes, Ponds, and Channels
Chapter 3: Uplands and Forested Wetlands
Chapter 4: Seed Plants
Chapter 5: Cryptogams
Chapter 6: Mammals
Chapter 7: Birds
Chapter 8: Reptiles and Amphibians
Chapter 9: Fishes of the Meadowlands and Adjacent Waters / Robert E. Schmidt
Chapter 10: Invertebrates
Appendix 1. List of Seed Plants of the Meadowlands
Appendix 2. List of Birds of the Meadowlands
Erik Kiviat is executive director of Hudsonia, a nonprofit institute for scientific research and education based in Annandale, New York. Kristi MacDonald is director of science at Raritan Headwaters, a nonprofit conservation organization in Bedminster, New Jersey.
"It is a pleasure to read this book that documents the great variety of wonderful plants and animals that now call the Meadowlands home."
– Judith Weis, Rutgers University
"This book presents a critically important case study of how biodiversity can be studied, monitored, and managed in our increasingly urban world. Kiviat and MacDonald bring to vivid life the habitats and creatures that have survived, and some that have even thrived, in the New Jersey Meadowlands, amidst interstates, suburbs, factories, and malls – and all of the associated environmental damage that comes with them. This will be a critical reference for scientists and land managers interested in the Meadowlands but also an inspiring resource for anyone with an interest in the natural history of urban areas. The sheer scope of the biodiversity identified here is itself a paean to the extraordinary skills of natural historians in the field."
– Felicia Keesing, Bard College
"Kiviat and MacDonald patiently lead us through the complexities of what is, in ecological terms, the center of the New York City region – the estuarine heart of the region. Just as the Meadowlands are a still too-secret defense against the devastating impact of climate change, so Urban Biodiversity is a vital tool in a battle that unchecked development threatens to win each and every day."
– Robert Sullivan, author of The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, and My American Revolution