Within southern New Jersey lies the largest expanse of undeveloped land in the megalopolis between Boston and Washington, D.C. This is the Pine Barrens, our nation's first National Reserve, where visitors are struck by how much the vegetation varies from surrounding areas. Because the sandy soil is only marginally suitable for most agriculture and because the location amounts to a peninsula, settlement has been limited and the current ecology is relatively untouched. However, as New Jersey's population increases, people are looking to the Pine Barrens with a new interest. A Key to the Woody Plants of the New Jersey Pine Barrens is a hand-illustrated, user-friendly guide for both the interested student and weekend naturalist. The key lists all of the woody plants of the Pine Barrens except for a few rare, non-native species. In several keys and more than fifty highly detailed drawings, Michael D. Geller describes the basic features of woody plants and explains how to identify plants both in summer and winter. Along with his set of workable identification keys, the author provides an enjoyable introduction to the geology, ecology, and history of the region, and relates each to the unique flora of the Pine Barrens. The book provides readers with an effective means of identifying the plants that are hallmarks of one of the state's last wild areas.
Michael D. Geller is an associate professor of environmental studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Introduction 1. Why the Pine Barrens Are Barren 2. The Basic Features of Woody Plants 3. How to Use a Dichotomous Key 4. A Key to the Keys 5. Summer Key to Most Species 6. Summer Keys to Selected Genera 7. Winter Keys to Genera 8. Winter Keys to Selected Genera 9. Quick Keys to Genera 10. The Ethnobotany of Pine Barrens Plants 11. A Sense of Place