Trees and Shrubs of the Northern Mariana Islands
Citation: Lynn Raulerson and Agnes Rinehart. 1991. Coastal Resource Management, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. 120 pages.
Locality: Micronesia (Guam) (13.433700, 144.761350)
Reference: Micronesica 24(2), 1991. Marianas Woody Plants. Christopher Lobban, University of Guam.
TREES AND SHRUBS OF THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS. Lynn Raulerson and Agnes Rinehart. Coastal Resources Management, Commonwealth of the Northern Islands, Saipan, MP 96950.1991.120pp,illus. approx. $15. Softcover.
Notwithstanding its title, this book covers all the Mariana Islands. All but one of these trees and shrubs occur on Guam. This full color guide is a welcome addition to the books on the terrestrial plants, especially as earlier floras (which included also the grasses and herbs) are long out of print. Ben Stone’s formal Flora of Guam, published in Micronesica, volume 6 (1970) is now dated and was not for the amateur naturalist. Many names have changed as a result of studies by Fosberg, Stone, and others. Moore & McMakin’s Plants of Guam, published by UOG College of Agriculture & Life Sciences in 1979 was similar to the present work in format, but again is unavailable. Thus, if you want a book about the native vegetation of Guam or the Northern Marianas, this is the only one you can buy.
Raulerson and Rinehart make a powerful team and have produced a book of the highest quality. The botany is based on Raulerson’s extensive knowledge of the local plants, developed over years of building up the herbarium and carrying out environmental impact surveys in the islands. The photos display Rinehart’s skill and have been given excellent color printing. (We look forward to their “Ferns and Orchids of Guam,” completed and awaiting publication.)
Each species is given half a page of description, including common names in English, Chamorro and Carolinian, and half a page of photos. This layout is similar to Moore & McMakin’s book, but a significant difference is that Raulerson & Rinehart usually include two photos: one a more general shot, the other a detail of flowers or fruits and leaves. *
The book begins with a very brief overview of plant communities in the CNMI. The book is evidently aimed at visual identifications (the “picture-matching” school), but the species pages are arranged taxonomically rather than by habitat/community (contrast Moore & McMackin). There are no keys. The descriptions include notes on habitat and uses as well as a word picture of the plant in straightforward English. A glossary explains the essential specialty words.
Anyone who has an interest in the local plants— from natural history fans to golf club managers— will be pleased to have this book. Given its very high quality and need for this book, it is a pity that the CNMI did not make plans for wide and continued availability. My advice, if you think you want this book, is to get it now. Check Guam bookstores.
Total Taxa: 1
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