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Author Name: C. N. Kurugundla | Format: Paperback | Genre : Outdoors & Nature | Other Details

An anthology of aquatic plants is an excellent collection of knowledge about anything in fresh, marine, or polluted waters. This pictorial guide deals with aquatic and wetland plants from the Okavango to the transboundary rivers to the rainwater ponds and dams. Organized and written in a way that will make information easily accessible to specialists and non-specialists alike.

The guide/book highlights the diversity and vital ecological importance of the group of plants, providing descriptions and identification keys for emergent, floating-leaved, and submerged aquatic plants found in Botswana. They serve as a source of food and shelter for the aquatic fauna, thus forming the basis of aquatic wildlife conservation practices. They are economically useful in providing medicinal and aesthetic value. Aquatic plants prevent and maintain erosion, water turbidity, and the source of oxygen in the water.

Information on invasive plants, such as Kariba/salvinia weed, water lettuce, and water hyacinth that threaten Botswana's aquatic ecosystems, is briefly described. In total, 194 plant species are presented in the guide. All technical terms are explained in a comprehensive glossary. This is the first such flora to cover aquatic and wetland plants for the entire geographical area, excluding grasses and sedges.

It will suit a large age range, from little ones who want to look at the pictures to primary school children. If you have an explorer's spirit and a thirst for finding something new, then aquatic life will never disappoint. The physical book itself is stunning, with a handsome cover with common water lily that makes it pretty enough to sit on the coffee table but entertaining enough to keep kids glued to the pages.

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C. N. Kurugundla

Dr. Chandraskara Naidu Kurugundla is a multi-disciplinary professional. He obtained his M.Sc. in Plant Sciences and Ph.D. in experimental crude oil pollution on plants in India. His specialisations include plant physiology, biochemistry, taxonomy, anatomy, floristic studies, alien invasive weeds, ecology, environmental and water quality studies, and lake and wetland restorations. He taught for 16 years from 1981 and retired as Head of the Department of Botany at Sir Theagaraya College, University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, before taking up an assignment in Botswana as a Chief Botanist and aquatic invasive plant specialist.

Dr. Kurugundla was selected by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Republic of Botswana, from India in August 1997 to undertake a programme geared towards the protection of Botswana's wetlands from invasive weeds and pollution. He was the Aquatic Vegetation Control Unit (AVC Unit) Head at DWS for 21 years. Dr. Kurugundla has published more than 27 research papers, including book chapters and books, in international peer-reviewed journals. 

His contributions are: achievement in the control and management of salvinia weed and eradication of water lettuce in Botswana wetlands; development of the systematic water quality monitoring programme for the Okavango-Kwando-Linyanti-Chobe Rivers and Limpopo basin; development of a concept of partitioning of flows in the major distributaries of the Okavango Delta; serving as the focal officer and in-house consultant for the Okavango Delta Management Plan (ODMP), Transbondary Diagnostic Analysis-Strategic Action Plan (TDA-SAP) Project, Biokavango Project, Eco-Health Project, and UNESCO World Heritage Project for the Okavango Delta.

Author’s address:  FB 12, Queens Park, Gowrivakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu Pin 600 073, India. Email: satkeerthi@hotmail.com