Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians

Rob writes: I must admit that I never really thought that I would be writing a review of a book about moss, but it turns out that once you start birding, all of the other aspects of nature tend to become more fascinating as well. When asked if I would like to review Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians by Princeton University Press, I decided that I could not pass up the chance to take a look at a book on a subject that I had never really thought much about.

We see moss pretty much everywhere that we go hiking and birding. Other than the fact that I knew it was indeed moss, I have never given the plant much thought and certainly did not realize that there were so many different species. After reviewing this book, I will likely be taking a little closer look at any moss that I come across!

As someone who has not looked at moss before and knows very little about it, I find the introductory chapters of this book to be incredibly educational. After a quick overview of how to use the book, and some of the key features of different groups of mosses, there comes a section on how to look at mosses. This chapter provides you with the base knowledge that you need in order to begin the process of identifying mosses.

The book is extremely easy to use. The tab system that the authors included helps you to get to relevant species quickly and keeps you from flipping through a multitude of pages that are not going to help you with your identification. In addition to a typical index in the back of the book, the authors have also included an index that is sorted by habitat type. This is a great way to learn what to expect in each habitat before beginning look at mosses in the field.

This book will help anyone that considers themselves a naturalist become more well-rounded in their field and is a very interesting look into a world that most of us are unfamiliar with.

Title: Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians
Authors: Karl McKnight, Joseph Rohrer, Kristen McKnight Ward, and Warren Perdrizet
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: February 24, 2013

We received a copy of this book from the publisher to review on NuttyBirder.com. The links are to our Amazon Affiliate account.

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