paper, 343 pp., $49.50
Swedish educators Håkan Rydin and John Jeglum have written a comprehensive text on the boreal and north temperate peatlands that reflects their dedicated research. They address the biological habitats and the diversity of life found in these environments before delving into what makes these situations so challenging for plant life and animals, including their particular hydrology, nutrients, light, and temperature. Spagnum, the peat mosses, are signature plants of the ecosystem. They are discussed at many times in their life cycle back to their appearance as fossils. The authors conclude with a review of peatlands around the world and a discussion of their importance and management. Liberally sprinkled with data and references on the subject, the book provides detailed coverage of the topic, serving as an excellent resource for both professional and academic use.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden