A comprehensive, accessible introduction to desert plants and animals, with a thorough examination of physiologic and behavioral adaptations that enable these organisms to survive in such inhospitable...
Author: Walter G. Whitford
Release Date: 2002-03-25
Conventional wisdom considers deserts stark, harsh regions that support few living things. Most people also believe that water alone makes the desert bloom. Ecology of Desert Systems challenges these conventional views. This volume explores a broad range of topics of interest to ecosystem, population, community, and physiological ecologists. Climate, weather patterns, geomorphology, and wind and water processes are examined as variables that affect the distribution of biota through fundamental ecosystem processes. Descriptions of morphological, behavioral, and physiological adaptations of desert biota illuminate, through the lens of patch dynamics, principles for understanding observed patterns of primary production, nutrient cycling, and the effects of consumers. Desertification, and the techniques for monitoring and quantifying it, is examined within the framework of desert ecosystem patterns and processes. * Focuses on the interactions of climate, soil, and biota along a spectrum of spatial and temporal scales * Details the role of animals in desert ecosystems and landscape processes * Examines watershed scale processes, the ecology of ephemeral lakes, and the ecological changes identified with desertification * Outlines the fundamental concepts relevant to sustainable development of arid lands
Author: Bruce M Pavlik
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2008-06-02
This highly readable, spectacularly illustrated compendium is an ecological journey into a wondrous land of extremes. "The California Deserts "explores the remarkable diversity of life in this harsh yet fragile quarter of the Golden State. In a rich narrative, it illuminates how that diversity, created by drought and heat, has evolved with climate change since the Ice Ages. Along the way, we find there is much to learn from each desert species whether it is a cactus, pupfish, tortoise, or bighorn sheep about adaptation to a warming, arid world. The book tells of human adaptation as well, and is underscored by a deep appreciation for the intimate knowledge acquired by native people during their 12,000-year desert experience. In this sense, the book is a journey of rediscovery, as it reflects on the ways that knowledge has been reclaimed and amplified by new discoveries. The book also takes the measure of the ecological condition of these deserts today, presenting issues of conservation, management, and restoration. With its many sidebars, photographs, and featured topics, "The California Deserts "provides a unique introduction to places of remarkable and often unexpected beauty."
Author: Robert H. Webb
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
Release Date: 2009
"This title presents new research on the Mojave Desert and the contributors discuss the desert from several perspectives including regional threats such as expanding human populations, climate change, atmospheric nitrogen deposition and invasive plants, the impact of roads in a desert ecosystem, soils and plant communities, shrinking aquifers and the monitoring and sustainability of this fragile ecosystem."--NHBS Environment Bookstore.
Author: Gary A. Polis
Publisher: Century Collection
Release Date: 2016-10-11
"Provides interesting and thought-provoking reading and is highly recommended to anyone interested in desert ecosystems or community ecology. The book . . . should serve as an inspiration to many for future research."--Journal of Biogeography "This book is not just about deserts; it is an update of the contributions that research in desert systems is making to community ecology. . . This book will provide a useful reference for desert ecologists, as well as indicate critical directions where progress needs to be made."--Ecology "This important book fills a significant gap in previous syntheses by presenting a detailed series of reviews of current understanding of community patterns and structure in desert environments. . . . Each chapter is thorough and well written and . . . closes with a discussion of suggested future research. . . . [T]hese ideas will do much to focus interest on the importance of desert systems in understanding community. Thus, this book has interest well beyond desert ecologists alone."--BioScience "Valuable reading and reference for ecology students, teachers and researchers."--Quarterly Review of Biology
Author: David Ward
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-06-23
This book offers a concise but comprehensive introduction to desert ecology and adopts a strong evolutionary focus. As with other titles in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in the book is on the organisms that dominate this harsh environment, although theoretical and experimental aspects are also discussed. In this updated second edition, there is a greater focus on the effects of climate change and some of its likely effects on deserts, seeing desertification as among the most serious results of climate change, leading ultimately to the increasing size of arid and semi-arid regions. The Biology of Deserts Second Edition includes a wide range of ecological and evolutionary issues including morphological and physiological adaptations of desert plants and animals, species interactions, the importance of predation and parasitism, food webs, biodiversity, and conservation. It features a balance of plant and animal (both invertebrate and vertebrate) examples, and also emphasizes topical applied issues such as desertification and invasive species. The book concludes by considering the positive aspects of desert conservation. This accessible textbook is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professional ecologists, conservation practitioners, and resource managers working in the field of desert ecology.
Author: Kris M. Havstad
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2006-07-20
The Jornada Basin LTER is located in the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest in North America. This region of south central New Mexico has a history of nearly 100 years as the basis for scientific research. This work gives a thorough, encompassing review of the tremendous array of observations resulting from experiments conducted in this ecosystem. Beginning with thorough descriptions of the most salient features of the region, the book then reviews a wide range of archived and active data sets on a diversity of biotic and abiotic features. It next presents a syntheses of important topics including livestock grazing and remediation efforts. A concluding chapter provides a synthesis of the principles that have emerged from this body of work, and how these relate to the broader fields of ecology and natural resource management. It concludes with recommendations for future research directions. The insightful views expressed in this volume should guide management of arid landscapes globally. This is the sixth volume in the Long Term Ecological Network Series.
Author: Kenneth A. Logan
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2001-08-01
Scientists and conservationists are beginning to understand the importance of top carnivores to the health and integrity of fully functioning ecosystems. As burgeoning human populations continue to impinge on natural landscapes, the need for understanding carnivore populations and how we affect them is becoming increasingly acute.Desert Puma represents one of the most detailed assessments ever produced of the biology and ecology of a top carnivore. The husband-and-wife team of Kenneth Logan and Linda Sweanor set forth extensive data gathered from their ten-year field study of pumas in the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico, also drawing on other reliable scientific data gathered throughout the puma's geographic range. Chapters examine: the evolutionary and modern history of pumas, their taxonomy, and physical description a detailed description and history of the study area in the Chihuahua Desert field techniques that were used in the research puma population dynamics and life history strategies the implications of puma behavior and social organization the relationships of pumas and their preyThe authors provide important new information about both the biology of pumas and their evolutionary ecology -- not only what pumas do, but why they do it. Logan and Sweanor explain how an understanding of puma evolutionary ecology can, and must, inform long-term conservation strategies. They end the book with their ideas regarding strategies for puma management and conservation, along with a consideration of the future of pumas and humans. Desert Puma makes a significant and original contribution to the science not only of pumas in desert ecosystems but of the role of top predators in all environments. It is an essential contribution to the bookshelf of any wildlife biologist or conservationist involved in large-scale land management or wildlife management.
Author: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson, Ariz.)
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2000
"This fine book offers one-stop shopping for authoritative answers to all your questions about a most wonderful place, the Sonoran Desert. Bees, birds, beetles, biodiversity, all right here in one place in accessible prose. Who can ask for more than that?"--John Alcock, author of In a Desert Garden "Definitive and delightful--a fabulous compendium of facts and experiences written by the most knowledgable scholars in the field. This encyclopedic guide will make desert rats out of those who aren't already."--Ann H. Zwinger, author of Run, River, Run "Once in a generation, a guide to understanding a major North American landscape comes along. This book is such a touchstone, sure to become a classic. The emphasis here is on biodiversity, mutualism, co-evolution, and, especially, ethno-relationships--the long history of connection between desert peoples and their homeland, on both sides of the border. This book gives desert dwellers everything they need to develop the crucial awareness, to say, 'This is a remarkable place, filled with astonishing creatures and processes. We must act now, with fierceness and tenderness, or it will be gone.'"--Stephen Trimble, author of The Sagebrush Ocean
Author: Eric R. Pianka
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-03-14
Eric Pianka offers a synthesis of his life's work on the comparative ecology of lizard assemblages in the Great Basin. Mojave and Sonoran deserts of western North America, the Kalahari semi-desert of southern Africa, and the Great Victoria desert of Western Australia. Originally published in 1986. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Author: Raymond M. Turner
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Release Date: 2005
The Sonoran Desert, a fragile ecosystem, is under ever-increasing pressure from a burgeoning human population. This ecological atlas of the region's plants, a greatly enlarged and full revised version of the original 1972 atlas, will be an invaluable resource for plant ecologists, botanists, geographers, and other scientists, and for all with a serious interest in living with and protecting a unique natural southwestern heritage. An encyclopedia as well as an atlas, this monumental work describes the taxonomy, geographic distribution, and ecology of 339 plants, most of them common and characteristic trees, shrubs, or succulants. Also included is valuable information on natural history and ethnobotanical, commercial, and horticultural uses of these plants. The entry for each species includes a range map, an elevational profile, and a narrative account. The authors also include an extensive bibliography, referring the reader to the latest research and numerous references of historical importance, with a glossary to aid the general reader. Sonoran Desert Plants is a monumental work, unlikely to be superseded in the next generation. As the region continues to attract more people, there will be an increasingly urgent need for basic knowledge of plant species as a guide for creative and sustainable habitation of the area. This book will stand as a landmark resource for many years to come.
Author: Philip W. Rundel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2005-10-20
The Mojave Desert is a winter-rainfall desert, experiencing drought in the summer months and occasional rain during the cooler winter months. For many years it has attracted the attention of ecologists and conservation biologists concerned with maintaining the unique status of this region. This book provides a broad overview of plant and animal ecology in the Mojave Desert, with a focus on data from Rock Valley, Nevada. The data from many major research projects is organized into a synthesis describing community structure and dynamics in desert ecosystems.