paper, 173 p., $44.50
What is a wetland, how does it come about, what are its functions, and what is its future are the major questions answered in this handy primer for college level students. Viewing these ecosystems from a global perspective, ecologist and educator Arnold van der Valk relates the basic characteristics of wetlands, ranging from arctic peatlands to tropical floodplains. What they all have in common is a combination of hydrology, low oxygen levels, and dense plant canopies. The easy-to-read text contains excellent drawings that illustrate the environments. Although tables and charts delineate more challenging data to beginning students, the author includes a helpful glossary of terminology.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden