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A Guide to Moist-Soil Wetland Plants of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

A Guide to Moist-Soil Wetland Plants of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Michael L. Schummer
Heath M. Hagy
K. Sarah Fleming
Josh C. Cheshier
James T. Callicutt
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    A Guide to Moist-Soil Wetland Plants of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
    Book Description:

    Moist-soil wetlands are seasonally flooded areas that produce early-succession plant communities of grasses, sedges, and other herbaceous plants. Moist-soil wetland plants provide food and cover for a diversity of wildlife species, including waterfowl and other waterbirds. Thus, conservation and management of moist-soil plants has become a major component of wildlife conservation efforts in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and elsewhere in North America. The authors combined their extensive experience working in managed and unmanaged wetlands from southern Missouri to southern Louisiana to produce this beautifully-illustrated identification guide. A detailed, yet user friendly field guide to identify moist-soil plants of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley has not been available until now.Management to encourage the growth of moist-soil plants is a common conservation strategy used by state, federal, and private landowners to increase food and cover for wildlife. Thus, landowners must be able to identify moist-soil plants to meet their wildlife conservation goals. Landowners, scientists, wildlife biologists, and students alike will welcome this useful resource which includes 600 detailed color photographs of plants, images of seeds and tubers, and other helpful information to aid in identification. The book includes subsections of major plant groups occurring in moist-soil wetlands including aquatics, grasses, broadleaves, sedges and rushes, trees and shrubs, vines, and agricultural crops.

    eISBN: 978-1-61703-147-2
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. A Brief History of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Moist-Soil Wetlands
    (pp. 3-7)
  6. [Maps]
    (pp. 8-9)
  7. How to Use This Book
    (pp. 10-11)
    (pp. 12-45)

    Habits and habitat: Perennial, emergent to submersed, moist uplands. Tends to form dense mats on undisturbed, open mudflats in summer from aboveground runners.

    Seedling: Usually submersed, leaves are ribbon-like with wavy margins.

    Stems and leaves: Stems are spongy and range in length up to 2 ft. Leaves are ovate to heart-shaped, 2 to 5 in. long, with the veins running from the base to the tip.

    Flowers: Flowering stems are typically taller than the leaves, with 3 to 10 flowers per node. Flowers are white and boat-shaped, with three petals, ¼ to ½ in. long. June to November.

    Fruit and...

    (pp. 46-99)

    Habits and habitat: Robust annuals occurring from uplands into drier wetland margins. Common in moist-soil wetlands during drought years or after summer disking. Prolific seed producers in summer and autumn. Mature plants can reach heights exceeding 8 ft.

    Seedling: Stem is round and green to purple, often without hairs. New leaves are narrow, green to reddish purple on the upper surface. First true leaves are alternate and oval, with small notches at the tip.

    Stems and leaves: Stem is robust (sometimes reaching several inches in diameter), branching, often near base. Stems usually have hairs and appear reddish green. Leaves are...

    (pp. 100-143)

    Habits and habitat: Perennial bunch grass, disperses into moist-soil areas from adjacent upland areas, where it is common. Often grows in seasonally wet areas and a variety of upland sites 2+ years after soil disturbance.

    Seedling: Seedlings (first year) generally reach about 3 to 5 in. tall and quickly form a bunch. Individuals (or clumps) do not begin to flower until the second or third year.

    Stems and leaves: Green to bluish green stem can grow 2 to 4 ft. tall. Leaves smooth, narrow, around 12 in. long, and grow parallel to the stem, giving plants an erect appearance.


    (pp. 144-181)

    Habits and habitat: Perennial herb usually growing from underground rhizomes, clump-forming. Located on moist to wet edges of wetlands, especially areas that are not disturbed (i.e., not disked or plowed often) but are not covered by a tree or shrub canopy.

    Stems and leaves: Stem three-sided, 1 to 3½ ft. tall. Leaves ¹/₁₀ in. wide, originating near base of stem, and may exceed height of stem, although none may occur.

    Flowers: Single vertical flowering structure with many small spikes, which may appear continuous or slightly clumped. March to June.

    Fruit and seed: Fruit a two-sided, lens-shaped, rounded nutlet. Nutlets appear...

  12. VINES
    (pp. 182-195)

    Habits and habitat: Perennial, woody trailing or climbing vine. At times invasive in the understory when creeping across moist-soil habitats and forming dense clumps.

    Stems and leaves: Woody vine trailing or climbing using aerial roots. Opposite, divided (pinnately compound) into 7 to 15 small leaflets with toothed margins, smooth and shiny above, lighter green below, with or without hairy veins.

    Flowers: Five to 20 red to reddish orange tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers, 2½ to 3 in. long. June to September.

    Fruit and seed: Fruit is a capsule, 4 to 7 in. long, ¾ to 1 in. wide, green in August...

    (pp. 196-231)

    Habits and habitat: High-climbing, deciduous woody vine, occasionally low and bushy, climbing by tendrils from woody rootstocks. Frequent in wet to moist openings, 1 to 2 years following soil disturbance, often climbing bottomland hardwood trees and shrubs, becoming invasive at times when occurring in low-growing bush form.

    Seedling: Rarely observed. First true leaves compound, tendrils absent. Often grows from root crown, young stems light green.

    Stems and leaves: Round stem, young stems light green, turning reddish to purple and then light tan, with light-colored lenticels; pith white. Alternate leaves 4 to 10 in. long and wide, divided into wide oval...

    (pp. 232-244)

    Habits and habitat: Warm-season annual grass native to Asia. Planted in moist-soil wetlands as supplemental food for waterfowl and other seed-eating wildlife. Seed often broadcast on exposed mudflats in spring. Relatively quick to mature at 45 to 60 days.

    Seedling: Very similar to other native millets, with flattened red stem at base.

    Stems and leaves: Stems to more than 4 ft. tall and up to ½ in. thick, hairless, flattened and red at base, often spreading along ground from clump before turning upward. Leaves are large, more than ½ in. wide.

    Seed clusters: Seed clusters are dense, drooping, and dark...

  15. References
    (pp. 245-245)
  16. Appendix 1: Moist-Soil Wetland Management Literature
    (pp. 246-248)
  17. Appendix 2: List of Taxonomic Information
    (pp. 249-255)
  18. Index
    (pp. 256-260)