The Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas

Front Cover
John Wesley Tunnell, Frank W. Judd
Texas A&M University Press, 2002 - Nature - 346 pages
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The Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas is the only hypersaline coastal lagoon on the North American continent and only one of five worldwide. Extending along 277 miles of shoreline in South Texas and northeastern Mexico, the lagoon is renowned for its vast seagrass meadows, huge wintering redhead population, and bountiful fishing grounds.

Recent concerns about increasing human activity have focused attention on the long-term health of the Laguna Madre as growing population pressures, pollution problems, and dredging threaten this unique ecosystem. The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is the conservation of biodiversity through protection of habitat, recognized the need to compile all known information about the Laguna Madre in order to move ahead with a science-based conservation agenda. This book is the result.

Taking an ecosystem approach to the study of this rich habitat, the authors first provide an overview of the natural history of the Laguna Madre and adjacent areas, including an essay on the importance of the region's private ranches. Succeeding chapters discuss the diverse natural resources of the lagoon—seagrasses, open bays, tidal flats, barrier islands, abundant waterfowl, colonial waterbird rookeries, sea turtles, and fisheries. A final section identifies information gaps, offers a conservation framework, and makes recommendations for preserving the biodiversity of this complex and special ecosystem.

Over seventy years of literature on the Laguna Madre and surrounding environments has been synthesized here. With 150 figures and illustrations, the book is the first to take a broad and comprehensive look at both the Texan and Tamaulipan Laguna Madre. For scientists, conservationists, resource managers, and policy makers involved in the future of the Texas and Mexico coasts, the value of this book is clear. And coastal residents, birders, anglers, and nature lovers who want to learn about and take care of the Laguna Madre will find this to be an indispensable guide.
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
Geography Climate and Hydrography
7
Origin Development and Geology
28
Tamaulipan Biotic Province
38
Ranching Heritage
59
Natural Resources
71
The Environment
73
Seagrass Meadows
85
Sea Turtles
211
Fish and Invertebrate Fisheries Organisms
223
Special Issues and Concerns
253
Red and Brown Tides
255
The Laguna Madre A Conservation Framework
259
Information Gaps and Needs
270
Conservation Issues and Recommendations
275
Contacts
289

Open Bay
102
WindTidal Flats
114
Barrier Islands
127
Redheads and Other Wintering Waterfowl
169
Colonial Waterbirds and Rookery Islands
182
Shorebirds and Wading Birds
198
Acronyms
303
Literature Cited
305
Contributors
335
Index
337
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 330 - Texas Department of Water Resources, 1983. Laguna Madre Estuary: A Study of the Influence of Freshwater Inflows.
Page 308 - Blooms in the Corpus Christi Bay National Estuary Program Study Area. Corpus Christi Bay National Estuary Program CCBNEP-07. Corpus Christi: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. 174 pp. Buskey, EJ, and DA Stockwell. 1993. Effects of a persistent "brown tide" on zooplankton populations in the Laguna Madre of South Texas.
Page 332 - White, WA, TR Calnan, RA Morton, RS Kimble, TG Littleton, JH McGowen, HS Nance, and KE Schmedes, 1985. Submerged lands of Texas. Galveston-Houston area: sediments, geochemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates.
Page 333 - Chapman. 1993. Seasonal abundance and habitat use of shorebirds on an Oso Bay mudflat, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Page 308 - The effects of Hurricane Camille on the marshes of the Mississippi River Delta.
Page 308 - Sea turtle strandings and shrimp fishing effort in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, 1986-1989.

References to this book

Galveston Bay
Sally E. Antrobus
Limited preview - 2005

About the author (2002)

John W. Tunnell, Jr., is director of the Center for Coastal Studies and professor of biology at Texas A&M University?Corpus Christi.Frank W. Judd is a professor and head of the Department of Biology at the University of Texas?Pan American.

Bibliographic information