Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat

Island Pr. Oct. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781642830804. $32. NAT HIST
In a series of 13 essays, Struzik (Inst. for Energy and Environmental Policy, Queen’s Univ., Kingston, Ont.; Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future; Future Arctic: Field Notes from a World on the Edge) takes readers on a global tour of peatlands, bogs, fens, swamps and marshes. One might think of these underappreciated ecosystems as dark, dank, dismal environs filled with biting creatures, but Struzik’s informative book reveals that swamplands (peatlands is an interchangeable term) teem with a variety of wildlife and plants and have had a vital role in human histories. Swamplands cover approximately four percent of the planet and store twice as much carbon as the Earth’s forests, but they are being destroyed at an alarming rate, Struzik writes. He points out swampy ecosystems in India, the United States (including Hawai’i, Louisiana, and Texas), and Canada and explains why each of them is so essential. The essays make connections between history and science, in Struzik’s personalizing writing style that might motivate readers to save the swamps. The book includes photographs.
VERDICT A powerful, impressive feat of popular science that is vitally needed in an era of climate change. Highly recommended for all libraries.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing