857 pages, Figs, tabs
The Pantanal, the floodplain of the Upper Paraguay River and its tributaries, is the largest contiguous wetland in the world. It harbors a great diversity of organisms and it is an ark for large populations of species that are rare in the Americas. The Pantanal fulfills a large range of ecosystem services that are essential for humanity. Due to the wet-and-dry climate of this seasonal floodplain system, plants, animals, and local human populations show an impressive range of adaptations to flood, drought, and even fire.
This book summarizes the recent developments in wetland research in the Pantanal. The contents of 31 chapters range from a biogeographical and physical-chemical habitat typology to the ecology and biodiversity of flora and fauna, and further to a detailed analysis of man-environment relationships including fishery, cattle ranching, and land use by traditional and modern communities, which are interpreted under an integrating scientific concept, the Flood Pulse Concept. Importantly, it offers recommendations for sustainable management and future projects in science and development of the Pantanal. The 68 contributors have both profound scientific knowledge of the area from many years of research in the Pantanal and practical experience in application of scientific results in education, politics and management. This book provides a solid scientific basis for wetland ecologists, foresters, environmentalists, and wetland managers. It is also an excellent textbook for students working in the Pantanal and similar wetland types in other regions.
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