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Suisun Marsh

Ecological History and Possible Futures

Peter B. Moyle (Editor), Amber D. Manfree (Editor), Peggy L. Fiedler (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN: 9780520276086
March 2014
$44.95, £34.95
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One of California's most remarkable wetlands, Suisun Marsh is the largest tidal marsh on the West Coast and a major feature of the San Francisco Estuary. This productive and unique habitat supports endemic species, is a nursery for native fishes, and is a vital link for migratory waterfowl. The 6,000-year-old marsh has been affected by human activity, and humans will continue to have significant impacts on the marsh as the sea level rises and cultural values shift in the century ahead.

This study includes in-depth information about the ecological and human history of Suisun Marsh, its abiotic and biotic characteristics, agents of ecological change, and alternative futures facing this ecosystem.


1. Introduction (Peter B. Moyle, Amber D. Manfree, and Peggy L. Fiedler)
2. Historical ecology (Amber D. Manfree)
3. Physical processes and geomorphic features (Christopher Enright)
4. Shifting mosaics: vegetation of Suisun Marsh (Brenda J. Grewell, Peter R. Baye, and Peggy L. Fiedler)
5. Waterfowl ecology and management (Joshua T. Ackerman, Mark P. Herzog, Gregory S. Yarris, Michael L. Casazza, Edward Burns, and John M. Eadie)
6. Terrestrial vertebrates (Alison N. Weber-Stover and Peter B. Moyle)
7. Fishes and aquatic macroinvertebrates (Teejay A. O’Rear and Peter B. Moyle)
8. Suisun Marsh today: agents of change (Stuart W. Siegel)
9. Alternative futures for Suisun Marsh (Peter B. Moyle, Amber D. Manfree, Peggy L. Fiedler, and Teejay A. O’Rear)

Peter B. Moyle is Professor of Fisheries Biology and Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis. He has published four books with UC Press, including Fish: An Enthusiast's Guide in 1993 and Inland Fishes of California in 2002.

Amber D. Manfree is a PhD student in the Geography Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis. Her research emphasizes her interests in biogeography, hydrologic processes, rural-urban interfaces, and land conservation.

Peggy L. Fiedler is a noted conservation biologist and authority in the ecology and management of rare plants. She is Director of the University of California Natural Reserve System.
"Thorough . . . [provides] a complete account of a highly impacted and often overlooked Pacific coast marsh."—Sally D. Hacker Ecology
"The information, strategies, and scenarios presented in the book represent a comprehensive look at a unique and valuable ecosystem that is beloved by many. This volume’s timely release will contribute an important voice to the ongoing management discussion about the future of the San Joaquin Delta-San Francisco Estuary."—The Quarterly Review of Biology
"This thorough and timely book addresses the conservation challenges of California’s largest brackish marsh. The authors describe the wetland's dynamic past and present, consider a dozen factors that will affect its future--including climate change, reduced sedimentation, invasive species, and upstream water diversions--and propose a comprehensive ecological framework to guide restoration." --Joy Zedler, Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology, UW-Madison

"Suisun Marsh reveals how a vast, duck-friendly wetland in the northeast corner of San Francisco Bay came to be what it is today and explores what it might become in the future as the sea level rises. Scenarios explored include a fortress marsh, a flood zone, an endangered species refuge, and a novel ecosystem where aliens and natives--and even a few duck hunters--might together thrive. Anyone interested in this grand experiment will find firm footing in this volume." --Ariel Rubissow-Okamoto, author of The Natural History of San Francisco Bay

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