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2013, Forrest Text, Cardigan

S.M. Haslam, M.A., Sc.D.(Cantab)
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, England
with many illustrations by P.A. Wolseley

ISBN: 978-0-9564692-4-3
Size: 250 x 190 x 18 mm : Extent 278 pages
Illustrations: 23 colour plates, plus tables, river maps and other line figures

O All ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord (Benedice. 1)
By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept, yea, we wept when we remembered…. (Ps. 136.1)

DEDICATION: To botanists of the future who devote their lives to reversing the decline and destruction of river plants


Preface, Acknowledgements, List of Tables, List of Figures, List of Photographs

Chapter 1. Flowing in the water
1.1 Introduction, 1.2 The behaviour of flow, 1.3 Flow effects and damage, 1.4 Riverscape, 1.5 Adapting to the water, 1.6 Notes on a representative selection of waving plants

Chapter 2. Ranunculus (Batrachian), Berula erecta and Sparganium emersum
2.1 Introduction, 2.2 Ranunculus spp. (Batrachian) (water crowfoot), 2.2.1 Introduction, 2.2.2 Structure, 2.2.3 River distributions, 2.2.4 Pattern and Habitat, 2.2.5 Community types, 2.2.6 Management, 2.2.7 Nutrients, 2.3 Berula erecta (Huds.) Colville (Sium erectum Huds., S. angustifolium L), 2.3.1. Introduction, 2.3.2 Structure, 2.3.3 Some interactions between Berula erecta and Apium nodiflorum, Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum agg., and Ranunculus spp., 2.3.4 Communities, 2.3.5 River distributions, 2.4 Sparganium emersum Rehman (Lesser bur reed, ‘Strapweed’), 2.4.1 Introduction, 2.4.2 Structure, 2.4.3 Autecology, 2.4.4. Community, 2.4.5. River distributions

Chapter 3. Pattern and Process
3.1 General, 3.2 Organisation, 3.2.1 Self-organisation, 3.2.2 Organisation by patterned habitat. (a) Substrate texture; (b) Chemistry; (c) Cross-section; (d) Niches, 3.2.3 Organisation by plant growth. (a) Plant dynamism; (b) water; (c) cycles; (d) growth patterns; (e) dependency; (f) competition, 3.2.4 Other factors, 3.3 Patterns with Flow, 3.4. Patterns with Depth, 3.5. Patterns with Substrate, 3.6. Patterns with Necessary Chemicals (nutrients and gases), 3.7. Patterns with Pollution

Chapter 4. Lament


A few years ago I asked advice on what I should now do, given that I had a mountain of data and less physical energy. To my surprise each said the same: that I should write explanatory and complementary books. So here is a book that discusses and adds to my earlier publications on river plants. It is not comprehensive in the way, in their fields, River Plants of Western Europe, River Plants and The Riverscape and the River are. It selects some species and topics, and is anyway excluding plants which neither wave nor ripple. I hope by the end of the book readers have a better understanding of how water plants behave, and, as importantly, of how little is known of how they work. They are living beings, a fact often forgotten, they react to the total environment they are in. That there is some American research finding that the conditions in a riverscape were best predicted by the management of half a century before, should make everyone think! As should the proven research demonstrating the deplorable loss of waving plants over too much of Europe over that period. All is not lost: good research has much improved part of the Danube, but this is rare. Too often, as in parts of England, the forces of destruction outweigh those of restoration. “Let us get rid of those nasty weeds”, may far exceed any demands of the (excellent) Water Framework Directive.