This introduction to the botany of San Francisco Bay tidal marshes provides basic skills for recognition and identification of the majority of plant genera and species in the San Francisco Estuary’s tidal brackish and salt marshes, and their terrestrial transition zones (ecotones), as well as a primer on the basic ecology of many species. The workshop does not presume technical knowledge of plant morphology and terminology needed to work taxonomic keys, but emphasizes visual understanding of diagnostic traits specific to tidal marsh plant genera, using photographs of plants growing in variable environments, as well as some live specimens. The species covered will include both native and non-native tidal marsh plants, and many selected uncommon to rare plants. Basic ecology reviewed will include geomorphic settings, environmental tolerances, plant associations and interactions, reproduction, dispersal, establishment, and growth. The workshop is aimed at resource managers, regulatory agency staff, naturalists, amateur botanists, and students and whose expertise is either outside classical botany, or who know tidal marsh plants primarily from other regions.
Instructor: Peter Baye, PhD
Peter Baye has investigated coastal wetlands, beaches, and dunes since 1975, and has worked on conservation of San Francisco Bay wetlands since 1991, after receiving his Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He worked on regulatory wetland restoration projects at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and endangered species planning and regulation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from 1991 to 2002. He was an active participant in the San Francisco Bay Wetlands Ecosystem Goals Project, and prepared the administrative draft of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s tidal marsh recovery plan. He is currently an independent consulting plant ecologist, specializing in endangered species recovery, wetland restoration, invasive plant management, and native vegetation management.