In North America Juniperus woodlands occupy approximately 55 million hectares, an area larger than the state of Texas. Various species of Juniperus have been increasing in density and are expanding into associated grasslands, reducing the size of the grasslands. The reason for the Juniperus expansion is highly debated, but has important implications for global change and fire regime studies.
Western North American Juniperus Communities addresses various aspects of the biology, ecology, and management of Juniperus woodlands and savannas, by synthesizing past, current, and proposed future research. The book will provide professionals with a solid background in Juniperus ecosystems, enabling them to manage the communities for maximum sustained productivity and diversity. Although the book focuses on Juniperus communities in North America, a discussion of other regions and larger research implications is included as well.
Introduction and overview of Juniperus woodlands.- Modern distribution of Juniperus communities.- The historical distribution and abundance of Juniperus in North America.- The distribution of Juniperus woodlands in relation to landform.- Structure of Juniperus woodlands.- Canopy/intercanopy patterns in woodlands: interrelationships between structure and function.- Comparison of the understory vegetation of Juniperus woodlands.- Ecological consequences of the displacement of native grassland by Juniperus.- Changes in nitrogen cycling dynamics following Juniperus encroachment into tallgrass prairie.- Influence of Juniperus plants on ecosystem processes in subtropical savannas.- Rainfall partitioning and water use within Juniperus canopies.- Juniperus seedling response to water stress and recovery.- Juniperus and the water cycle: a state of our knowledge.- The combined influence of grazing, fire and herbaceous productivity on Juniperus-grass interactions.- Ecological consequences of using prescribed fire and herbivory to manage Juniperus encroachment.- Biodiversity consequences of Juniperus expansion into Great Plains ecosystems.- Reversing the woodland steady state: vegetation responses during restoration of Juniperus-dominated grasslands with chaining and fire.- Conclusions: present understanding and future research needs and direction of study of Juniperus woodlands.
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About the Editor: Oscar W. Van Auken is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA.