Marine Plants of the Texas Coast
Natural History
6 x 9, 224 pp.
304 color photos. Map. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 12/06/2013
Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Series, Sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  flexbound (with flaps)
Price:        $32.00

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2014 Donovan Correll Steward Memorial Award, presented by the Native Plant Society of Texas

Marine Plants of the Texas Coast

By Roy L. Lehman

Written for biology students, teachers, nature lovers, amateur naturalists, conservation workers, and parks and wildlife personnel, this up-to-date, easy-to-use guide describes the marine plants of the Gulf of Mexico coast. The author’s photographs accompany the updated identification keys, which are also visually oriented and simple to use.

Veteran botanist and educator Roy L. Lehman describes the plants in four major sections, covering the common shoreline plants, seagrasses, mangroves, and marine algae (red, brown, and green seaweeds). Each section begins with an introduction that gives an overview of the plant group and includes information on the important traits and terminology used for identification. A simple key to the family or order directs the reader to the appropriate section, where the text is arranged alphabetically by family and then by genus and species. Each genus is illustrated by high quality photographs that include a close-up of each plant and images of its reproductive structures.

Marine Plants of the Texas Coast collects these unique species for the first time in a single volume. As coastal issues, such as hurricane preparedness, beach erosion, wetland mitigation, freshwater inflows, and more, remain in the forefront of public concern, this botanical reference should find a permanent place on the bookshelves of scientists, policy makers, and citizens alike.

ROY L. LEHMAN is professor of biology at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, where he is also director of the Laguna Madre Field Station and a Harte Research Associate at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. He is the coauthor of the award-winning book Plants of the Texas Coastal Bend, published by Texas A&M University Press in 2005.

What Readers Are Saying:

“The new book by Dr. Lehman fills a gap in the current marine plant guides. One significant feature is that it includes coastal plants as well as seagrasses and seaweeds of the entire Texas coast. It will be of great value to marine science students as well as the serious outdoor enthusiast. Older guides like the Illustrated Guide to the Seaweeds and Sea Grasses in the Vicinity of Port Aransas, Texas used nomenclature that is seriously out of date and had limited geographic coverage and few color plates. The exclusive use of color photos in the Lehman book is much appreciated.”—Hudson R. DeYoe, Professor of Biology, and Director of the Center for Subtropical Studies, University of Texas Pan American

“Dr. Lehman has compiled a most authoritative and comprehensive treatise on the marine plants of Texas which, I'm certain, will be a standard guide for students, researchers, and resource managers for many years to come. It is well written, well illustrated, and well documented and will be an ideal teaching aid for the marine botany and coastal plant ecology courses taught at my home institution, Texas A&M University at Galveston.”—William J. Wardle, associate professor, Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Marine Plants of the Texas Coast, the latest offering from Dr. Roy Lehman, is an excellent compendium of plants associated with the varied coastal habitats and ecotypes found along the Texas edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Lehman offers detailed descriptions of hundreds of plants that range from upper elevation maritime species to emergent and submerged species. The keys are well organized, with superb quality photographs and clear descriptions. This book has already been of great use to me in identification of the macroalgal species associated with seagrass habitats. Anyone with even a passing interest in the wonders of coast marine ecology will find this book informative and helpful.”—Joseph L. Kowalski, research assistant

"This is the book we have needed for 20 years.

It will be used by field trip leaders taking students to the coast, by biologists and other technically-trained specialists whose expertise is in areas other than marine plants, and by interested amateurs who want an easy-to-use guide for identification.

This is the most complete and detailed guide ever published for marine plants of the western and southwestern parts of the Gulf of Mexico.  Dr. Lehman and his students have spent many years in field and lab studies, mapping the occurrence and distribution of plants along the Gulf shore. The well-constructed keys are clearly worded and use easily recognized characters to guide the user to a species identification. Numerous color photos clarify details as well as showing the overall appearance of intact specimens in field conditions.  These features make it easy to identify the organisms encountered by every fisherman, beachcomber, and casual visitor to these shores. 

Big changes are coming to this part of the Gulf as the climate shifts, human populations increase, and industrial development intensifies.  This book will provide a baseline reference documenting what is there now, as well as making it much easier to track changes. Some species will be lost; other species will move into the area.  With this guide, many more observers will be able to recognize the organisms that are present; this will in turn multiply the number of eyes on the ground who can contribute to a growing database of plants in the area."--C. O. Patterson, Professor of Biology, Texas A&M University


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