Series: Plant and Vegetation (formerly Geobotany) Volume: 8
500 pages, 145 colour & 80 b/w illustrations, 29 tables
Vegetation Dynamics on the Mountains and Plateaus of the American Southwest provides information essential for anyone interested in the ecology of the American Southwest, including land managers, environmental planners, conservationists, ecologists and students. It is unique in its coverage of the hows and whys of dynamics (changes) in the major types of vegetation occurring on southwestern mountains and plateaus. It explains the drivers and processes of change, describes historical changes and provides conceptual models that diagrammatically illustrate past, present, and potential future changes. All major types of vegetation are covered: spruce-fir, mixed conifer, and ponderosa pine forests, pinyon-juniper vegetation, subalpine-montane grassland, and Gambel oak and interior chaparral shrublands. The focus is on vegetation that is relatively undisturbed, i.e., in natural and near-natural condition, and how it responds to natural disturbances such as fire and drought, as well as to anthropogenic disturbances such as fire exclusion and invasive species
"This is a meticulous, deep, and important synthesis of scientific knowledge of the Southwest's upland vegetation landscapes, enriched by the author's extensive experience, critical thinking, and striking photographs. The place itself is large and spectacular and the natural disturbances, such as wildfires and insect outbreaks, and human interactions, that are themes, operate at these big scales. To understand them, the book weaves a rich selection of early images of these landscapes with extensive historical sources, and comprehensive coverage of the scientific literature. This is a book whose distilled scientific knowledge is needed right now to think intelligently about what to do about the future."
– Dr. William L. Baker, Faculty Emeritus, Department of Geography, University of Wyoming, February 2015)
"A beautiful work of careful scholarship [...] ."
– Craig D. Allen, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Los Alamos, New Mexico, January 2015
PART I Forests
2. Spruce-Fir Forest
3. Mixed Conifer Forest
4. Ponderosa Pine Forest
PART II Woodland, Savanna, Grassland, and Shrublands
6. Subalpine-Montane Grassland
7. Gambel Oak Shrubland
8. Interior Chaparral Shrubland
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John L. Vankat received an A.B. degree in biology from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota and M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in botany from the University of California, Davis. He taught and researched plant ecology in the Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio for thirty-one years. John's interest in education led to his textbook The Natural Vegetation of North America: An Introduction. He completed forty-nine master's and Ph.D. students, directing field research projects from California to Pennsylvania and from Alaska to Belize. John helped organize and was elected the first person to chair the Vegetation Section of the Ecological Society of America. Additionally, he helped organize and later chaired the North American Section of the International Association for Vegetation Science.
After retiring from Miami University, John moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, where he accepted a four-year position as ecologist with Grand Canyon National Park to do research and bring research to bear on management issues. At present, John is Professor Emeritus from Miami University and both Senior Research Ecologist with the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research and Adjunct Professor in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
He continues to research forests, woodlands, and shrublands in the American Southwest, focusing on vegetation dynamics, and continues his interest in using science to enhance management of natural areas. John has published in twenty peer-reviewed journals, including Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Journal of Vegetation Science, Journal of Biogeography, Conservation Biology, Ecological Modelling, and Landscape Ecology. He has presented invited lectures at thirty-seven universities in ten countries.