Few plant species have had as much combined scientific, public, and political attention as exotic Tamarix spp (tamarisk, saltcedar), attracting the public eye in the early 2000’s when widespread drought in the West corresponded to assertions that the introduced tree used as much water as whole cities. This edited volume contains 24 essays by 44 authors on the hybrid swarm that represents invasive tamarisk, including its biology, ecology, politics, history, management, and even the philosophical and ethical issues involved with designating a particular species as “good” or “bad”. These works reflect the controversy that has arisen around its role in our ecosystems and what should (or should not) be done about it, particularly in the context of the release of a biological control agent. This is the first text to examine these many facets of this interesting plant with an engaging and sometimes surprising collection of written works from the most important researchers in the field, representing the full spectrum of scientific perspectives.
"Tamarisk is not just about the impacts of an exotic species, but is in fact an outstanding entry pointinto many of the most important ecological and conservation questions that scientists and land managers are grappling with today; Do non-native species provide important ecosystem services? What is the best way to manage a landscape dominated by non-native species? What are the ethical and ecological reasons for removing non-native species? Because of this well-written book, the tamarisk will become a key example for introducing young scientists and land managers to the complexities of dealing with exotics species in established ecosystems." -- Richard Primack, Boston University and author of Essentials of Conservation Biology "A comprehensive treatment of one of the highest-profile invasive species in North America, and surely the most controversial. We owe Sher and Quigley a hearty thanks for assembling a cast of authorities on the biological, historical, sociological, political, and economic facets of the spread and management of salt cedar. Everyone from concerned laypersons through ecologists and botanists will enjoy reading this book and learn a lot from it." -- Daniel Simberloff, Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Tennessee and founder of the Institute of Biological Invasions "This book represents the most comprehensive work yet published of the biology, ecology, and sociological impacts of Tamarix. Most impressive is the unbiased approach, broad perspective, and science-based standards used to address the many controversial issues related to positive benefits or negative impacts of Tamarix." -- Joe DiTomaso, University of California, Davis, and author of Aquatic and Riparian Weeds of the West "With 44 of the world's top Tamarisk researchers, Drs. Sher and Quigley have assembled the first comprehensive book on this important woody genus in the western United States. This is tremendously valuable book is a must have for all who study or manage Tamarix." -- Mike Dombeck, Chief Emeritus, U.S. Forest Service
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