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The Reader

Plants of the Chesapeake Bay

In Plants of the Chesapeake Bay, John Hopkins University Press has just published what I consider the most comprehensive and well-illustrated field guide. Lytton John Musselman and David A. Knepper’s 217-page book has outstanding color pictures and descriptions of wildflowers, grasses, aquatic vegetation, trees, shrubs and other flora. It also organizes the plants in communities within the Bay region.
    The communities include hyper-salinity, maritime, brackish and freshwater habitats. Within these habitats, plants are identified as floating leaf plants, submerged plants, herbaceous plants, grass-like plants, woody vines, trees and shrubs.
    In Chapter 1, a map identifies the salinity values throughout the Bay so we can easily see plant communities of interest.
    Distance photographs help us identify plant colonies as seen from afar. The many close-up photographs and descriptions enable us to correctly identify each plant. For each species, the authors provide information on habitat and alert us to possible confusions between plants of similar appearance. The text for each species also provides information on wildlife and ecological value and in many instances human value.
    In hardcover, paperback and electronic editions.