The Fourth Edition of The Light and Smith Manual continues a sixty-five-year tradition of providing to both students and professionals an indispensable, comprehensive, and authoritative guide to Pacific coast marine invertebrates of coastal waters, rocky shores, sandy beaches, tidal mud flats, salt marshes, and floats and docks. This classic and unparalleled reference has been newly expanded to include all common and many rare species from Point Conception, California, to the Columbia River, one of the most studied areas in the world for marine invertebrates. In addition, although focused on the central and northern California and Oregon coasts, this encyclopedic source is useful for anyone working in North American coastal ecosystems, from Alaska to Mexico.
More than one hundred scholars have provided new keys, illustrations, and annotated species lists for over 3,500 species of intertidal and many shallow water marine organisms ranging from protozoans to sea squirts. This expanded volume covers sponges, sea anemones, hydroids, jellyfish, flatworms, polychaetes, amphipods, crabs, insects, snails, clams, chitons, and scores of other important groups. The Fourth Edition also features introductory chapters on marine habitats and biogeography, interstitial marine life, and intertidal parasites, as well as expanded treatments of common planktonic organisms likely to be encountered in near-to-shore shallow waters.
James T. Carlton is Professor of Marine Sciences at Williams College. He has directed the Williams College - Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program since 1989, where he teaches marine ecology. He edited (with Ralph I. Smith) Light’s Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates of the Central California Coast, Third Edition (UC Press, 1975) and is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Biological Invasions.
“This book admirably carries on the work of S.F. Light, and his recently departed students Joel Hedgpeth and Cadet Hand, all of whom strove to inspire biologists with an appreciation for organismal studies on marine invertebrates.”—Christopher B. Boyko Journal Of Crustacean Biology
"An immensely useful manual with many attractive features: comprehensive and lucid keys, precise diagrams, annotated checklists and up-to-date references. ... there is no doubt that it should be seen as an example of the type of manual which is so badly needed in the study of the fauna of many shores around the world."—Journal of Animal Ecology
"Congratulations to the editors, contributors, and publisher for a job well done. The third edition has been rewritten, corrected, and enlarged, so that while retaining the basic organization of the earlier ones, it is more useful, informative and up-to-date. The meticulous scholarship of Smith and Carlton is just what the revision needed."—Systematic Zoology
"This revision should serve for many years. It is therefore particularly commendable that the editing has been meticulous, perhaps flawless. ... thanks are due to the many contributors for a job well done."—The Quarterly Review of Biology
"As the Pacific Coast intertidal zone undergoes increasingly profound changes, knowing the sentinel invertebrates can foretell the future of the sea, and hence, of our species. Jim Carlton's hefty new update of The Light & Smith Manual,
the comprehensive compendium of who's who between the tides, is the best and quickest way to do so."—Elliot A. Norse, President, Marine Conservation Biology Institute
"This much-anticipated modernization of "Light's Manual" is an astonishing accomplishment, blending state-of-the-art taxonomy with profusely illustrated and user-friendly keys to who's whom on marine shores from its stated boundaries of mid-California through Oregon, and clearly, much further north. It's also an informative, well referenced read. Marine biologists should not leave home without it."—Robert Paine, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Washington
"At this time of environmental change and loss of biodiversity, species identification has never been more important. The fourth edition of Light and Smith is more than just a field guide—it is a masterwork of research and description with a strong focus on morphological detail. No other book has such a broad scope, newly expanded to include even the most obscure taxa. The revised keys and beautiful anatomical illustrations make this classic guide more indispensable than ever. As taxonomists become extinct, there are fewer students to receive the vast body of knowledge accumulated by generations of careful study. I hope that the beauty and depth of this guide will inspire a generation of young scientists to continue this critical taxonomic work. It will have a place of honor in all marine labs."—Paul K. Dayton, Scripps Institution of Oceanography