Louisiana Ecology

Some Introductory Readings

Often Louisiana is treated as if it is nothing more than coastal wetlands.  This list of readings includes some important articles on coastal wetlands, but also includes articles on savannas and deciduous forests. I consider these to be the minimum list of papers which all students of ecology in Louisiana should have read.  I have tended to select books and papers that broadly review selected topics to provide a context for more focused reading.  There are of course, many other worthy articles, and no one should feel bad if their particular contribution is not on this list.

Let us be clear about the importance of having students know about their home landscape.  I have done a list like this for students in the Ottawa Valley, Canada.  Here is what I told them: “Be warned … that if I someday hear a student in Ottawa complain in a bar or taxi that one cannot find work with a biology degree, I shall feel free to inquire about his/her mastery of the contents of these papers”.

Barry, J.M. 1997. Rising Tide. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.  Simon and Schuster, NY.

Boyd, R. and Penland, S. 1988. A geomorphologic model for Mississippi River Delta evolution. Transactions – GulfCoast Association of Geological Societies 38: 443-452.

Brown, P., and Kennett, J.P. 1999. Marine evidence for episodic Holocene megafloods in North America and northern Gulf of Mexico. Paleoceanography 14 : 498-510.

Christensen, N.L. 2000. Vegetation of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Chapter 11 pp. 397-448 In M.G. Barbour and W.D. Billings (eds.) North American Terrestrial Vegetation. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Day, J.W. Jr., D.F. Boesch, E.J. Clairain, G.P. Kemp, S.B. Laska, W.J. Mitsch, K. Orth, H. Mashriqui, D.J. Reed, L. Shabman, C.A. Simenstad, B.J. Streever, R.R. Twilley, C.C. Watson, J.T. Wells, and D.F. Whigham. 2007. Restoration of the Mississippi Delta: Lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Science 315: 1679-1684.

Gosselink, J.G., J.M. Coleman and R.E. Stewart, Jr. 1998. Coastal Louisiana. pp. 385-436 In M.J. Mac, P.A. Opler, C.E. Puckett Haecker and P.D. Doran (eds.). 1998. Status and Trends of the Nation’s Biological Resources, 2 Vols. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

Harcombe, P.A., J.S. Glitzenstein, R.G. Knox, S.L. Orzell and E.L. Bridges. 1993. Vegetation of the Longleaf Pine Region of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. pp. 83-104 Proceedings of the Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference, No. 18, The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem: Ecology, Restoration, Management. Tall Timbers Research Inc., Tallahassee, Florida.

Keddy, P.A., L. Gough, J.A. Nyman, T. McFalls, J. Carter and J. Siegrist. 2009. Alligator hunters, pelt traders, and runaway consumption of Gulf coast marshes: A trophic cascade perspective on coastal wetland losses. p. 115-133 in B.R. Silliman, E.D. Grosholz, and M.D. Bertness (eds.) Human Impacts on Salt Marshes. A Global Perspective. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA

Keddy, P.A. 2008. Water, Earth, Fire: Louisiana’s Natural Heritage. Xlibris, Philadelphia. 

Messina, M.G. and W.H. Conner (eds.). 1988. Southern Forested Wetlands. Ecology and Management. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida.

Norgress, R.E.  1947. The history of the cypress lumber industry in Louisiana. The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 30: 979-1059.

Platt, W.J. 1999. Southeastern pine savannas. pp. 23-51 In R.C. Anderson, J.S. Fralish, and J.M. Baskin (eds.) Savannas, Barrens and Rock Outcrop Communities of North America. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Quarterman, E. and C. Keever. 1962. Southern mixed hardwood forest: climax in the southeastern coastal plain. U.S.A. Ecology 32: 167-185.

Stein, B.A., L.S. Kutner and J.S. Adams. 2000. Precious Heritage. The Status of Biodiversity in the United States. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

The Nature Conservancy. 2004. Conservation Area Plan for the Lake Pontchartrain Estuary. Covington Field Office, Covington, LA.

White, P.S., S.P. Wilds and G.A. Thunhorst. Southeast. 1998. pp. 255-314 in M.J. Mac, P.A. Opler, C.E. Puckett Haecker and P.D. Doran (eds.) Status and Trends of the Nation’s Biological Resources, 2 Vols. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

Williams, M. 1989. The lumberman’s assault on the southern forest, 1880 – 1920. pp. 238-288 in Americans and Their Forests: A Historical Geography. Edited by M. Williams. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.