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Noteworthy Books

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 18, Issue 2 (2019): B1–B3

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Southeastern Naturalist B1 Noteworthy Books 2019 Vol. 18, No. 2 Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida. Kenneth L. Krysko, Kevin M. Enge, and Paul E. Moler. 2019. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 728 pp. $80.00, hardcover. ISBN 978163400448. Florida is home to a more diverse variety of amphibians and reptiles than any other state due to its wide array of ecosystems and its large number of established nonnative species. This volume is a comprehensive account of the 219 species known to exist in the state. Chapters are organized into families and species including both native and non-indigenous species. A final chapter addresses nonnative species found but not proven to be established in the state. Each species is presented with color photographs, an up-to-date distribution map, and detailed information about its appearance, current taxonomy, geographic distribution and habitat, reproduction and development, diet, behavior, and conservation status. As parts of Florida are experiencing degradation of natural habitats at record rates, species that cannot adapt will disappear. This volume will be a touchstone for future efforts to study and protect the extraordinary biodiversity of Florida’s native amphibians and reptiles. Grasses of Florida. David W. Hall. 2019. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 368 pp. $80.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780813056050. Grasses are the fourth-largest family of flowering plants worldwide. In Florida, grasses occur in every habitat and are the dominant ground cover across many regions. Grasses of Florida is the first complete systematic account of the grasses that occur in the wild throughout the state. This volume presents taxonomic descriptions of 118 genera and 463 species of the grass family, classified scientifically as Poaceae. Supplemented by over 500 illustrations, these accounts feature details on grass habitats, distribution both in-state and worldwide, frequencies of occurrence, and months of flowering. The up-to-date information in this book is necessary knowledge for anyone involved in agricultural and livestock production, weed control, erosion management, aesthetic landscaping, or conservation of Florida’s native plant communities. Due to the extensive uses and tremendous diversity of grasses, this book is an essential identification guide. Flora of Florida, Volume VI: Dicotyledons, Convolvulaceae through Paulowniaceae. Richard P. Wunderlin, Bruce F. Hansen, and Alan R. Franck. 2019. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 372 pp. $70.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780813056135. This sixth volume of the Flora of Florida collection continues the definitive and comprehensive identification manual to the Sunshine State’s 4000 kinds of native and non-native ferns and fern allies and flowering and non-flowering seed plants. Volume VI contains the taxonomic treatments of 19 families of Florida’s dicotyledons. Florida has the third most diverse vascular plant flora in the United States, and the Flora of Florida volumes include all indigenous and naturalized taxa currently known to occur within its borders. With keys to family, genus, and species, and with genera and species within each family arranged alphabetically for easy reference, these volumes are the standard reference for botanists, researchers, consultants, and students alike. Drying Up: The Fresh Water Crisis in Florida. John M. Dunn. 2019. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 304 pp. $24.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780813056203. Florida, America’s wettest state, is facing a drinking-water crisis. Journalist and educator John Dunn untangles the many causes of the state’s freshwater problems. Drainage projects, construction, and urbanization have changed and shrunk natural water systems. Pollution, failing infrastructure, increasing outbreaks of toxic algae blooms, and pharmaceutical contamination are worsening water quality. Climate change, sea-level rise, and groundwater pumping are spoiling freshwater resources with saltwater intrusion. Dunn explains that soon there will not be enough water to meet demand if “business as usual” prevails. He investigates previous and current restoration efforts, examines proposed solutions, and challenges readers to rethink their relationship with water and adopt a new philosophy that compels them to protect the planet’s most precious resource. The Water Paradox: Overcoming the Global Crisis in Water Management. Edward B. Barbier. 2019. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 296 pp. $30.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780300224436. This book proposes “a radical new approach to tackling the growing threat of water scarcity”. For millennia, we have perceived water as abundant and easily accessible. But water shortages are fast becoming a persistent reality for all nations, rich and poor. With Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 18/2, 2019 Southeastern Naturalist Noteworthy Books 2019 Vol. 18, No. 2 B2 demand outstripping supply, a global water crisis is imminent. In this trenchant critique of current water policies and practices, Edward Barbier argues that our water crisis is as much a failure of water management as it is a result of scarcity. Outdated governance structures and institutions, combined with continual under pricing, have perpetuated the overuse and undervaluation of water and disincentivized much-needed technological innovation. As a result “water grabbing” is on the rise, and cooperation to resolve these disputes is increasingly fraught. Barbier draws on evidence from countries across the globe to show the scale of the problem, and outlines the policy and management solutions needed to avert this crisis. Lizards and Snakes of Alabama. Craig Guyer, Mark A. Bailey, and Robert H. Mount. 2018. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 416 pp. $39.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780817359164. Alabama possesses one of the most species-rich biotas in north temperate areas, and this richness is reflected in some groups of lizards, such as skinks, and especially in snakes. The authors examine all known species and describe important regional variation. Significant field studies, especially of Alabama’s threatened and endangered species, have been performed and are used to inform discussion of each account. The life-history entry for each species is comprised of scientific and common names, full-color photographs, a morphological description, discussion of habits and life cycle, and a distribution map depicting the species range throughout the state, as well as notes on conservation and management practices. The illustrated taxonomic keys provided for families, genera, species, and subspecies are of particular value to herpetologists. Accessible to all, this volume is valuable to both the professional herpetologist and the general reader interested in snakes and lizards. Southeastern Grasslands: Biodiversity, Ecology, and Management. JoVonn G. Hill and John A. Barone (Eds.). 2018. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 344 pp. $54.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780817319885. Two centuries ago the southeastern United States contained hundreds of thousands of acres of natural grasslands that stretched from Florida to Texas. Now more than 99 percent of these prairies, glades, and savannas have been plowed up or paved over. The few remaining sites are complex ecosystems, home to hundreds of distinct plant and animal species. This volume brings together the latest research on southeastern prairie systems and species, provides a complete picture of an increasingly rare biome, and offers solutions to many conservation biology queries. The editors have gathered renowned experts in their fields from across the region who address questions related to the diversity, ecology, and management of southeastern grasslands, along with discussions of how to restore sites that have been damaged by human activity. Written with a broad audience in mind, this book will serve as a valuable introduction and reference for nature enthusiasts, scientists, and land managers. Coasts and Estuaries: The Future. Eric Wolanski, John W. Day, Michael Elliott, and Ramesh Ramachandran (Eds.). 2019. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 726 pp. $144.50, softcover. ISBN 9780128140031. Coasts and Estuaries: The Future provides valuable information on how we can protect and maintain natural ecological structures while also allowing estuaries to deliver services that produce societal goods and benefits. These issues are addressed through chapters detailing case studies from estuaries and coastal waters worldwide, presenting a full range of natural variability and human pressures. Following this, a series of chapters written by scientific leaders synthesizes the problems and offers solutions for specific issues graded within the framework of the socio-economic-environmental mosaic. The targeted readership includes researchers, scientists, engineers, and students of estuarine, coastal and shelf processes along with resource managers with a special interest in coastal ecosystems, hydrologists, natural resource managers, and professionals focusing on sustainable use of our coasts, estuaries, and ecosystem services. Reptiles of South Carolina. Jeffrey D. Camper. 2019. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 288 pp. $29.99, softcover. ISBN 978611179484. South Carolina’s varied landscapes and habitats are home to a fascinating and mysterious assortment of alligators, turtles, lizards, and snakes. The Reptiles of South Carolina, a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the Palmetto State, is designed to enlighten readers about this misunderstood and often-maligned group of secretive and ecologically important animals. Camper begins with a discussion of the state’s mild climate and wide variety of natural habitats. The entry for each species provides a color picture, detailed descriptions of external Southeastern Naturalist B3 Noteworthy Books 2019 Vol. 18, No. 2 The Southeastern Naturalist welcomes submissions of review copies of books that publishers or authors would like to recommend to the journal’s readership and are relevant to the journal’s mission of publishing information about the natural history of the southeastern US. Accompanying short, descriptive summaries of the text are also welcome. appearance, variations in size and color, taxonomic keys, comparisons to similar species to aid in identification, and natural history. Camper also assesses the conservation status of each species and offers a detailed range map of where that species is known to occur in the state and another map showing its entire geographic range in the continental United States. This authoritative reference will prove invaluable to students, professional herpetologists, conservationists, ecologists, biologists, land managers, and amateur naturalists alike. Camera Trapping Guide: Tracks, Signs, and Behavior of Eastern Wildlife. Janet Pesaturo. 2018. Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT. 282 pp. $29.95, softcover. ISBN 9780811719063. Using a specially made, inexpensive, rugged, heat- and motion-detecting camera, you can view wildlife up close. Camera Trapping Guide gives you the techniques and knowledge of animal behaviors so you can get the best possible photos and videos. The guide includes 41 species common to the eastern US including large and small mammals, birds, and even alligators. With photos and range maps, each entry gives details on physical characteristics, tracks and sign, diet, habitat, and breeding. Also included are specific camera trapping techniques pertinent to each animal. You'll learn the characteristics of various cameras, where and when to place the camera to capture specific behaviors, and how to minimize impact on the animals. Advances in Marine Biology, Volume 79. Charles Sheppard (Serial Editor). 2018. Academic Press, London, UK. 252 pp. $140.70, hardcover. ISBN 9780128151013. Advances in Marine Biology, Volume 79 is the latest release in a series that has been providing in-depth and up-to-date reviews on all aspects of marine biology since 1963. Included is a review of patterns of multiple paternity across sea turtle rookeries, parasites and pathogens in seabirds, progress in marine genomics and bioinformatics, the rise of sea turtle research and conservation, and the potential impacts of offshore oil and gas activities on deep-sea sponges and the habitats they form. The targeted readership includes postgraduates and researchers in marine biology, fisheries science, ecology, zoology, oceanography.