The history of man's use of arid lands is a sad record of deterioration of the natural resource base and of low and declining living standards for the 300 million people who live in them. One prerequisite to meeting the challenge of reversing the deterioration and of raising living standards is a sound knowledge of the natural ecosystems. It is to this end that the IBP and other relevant studies, reported in this and a succeeding volume, are addressed.
The subject matter of the two volumes is organised into five major topics; two are dealt with in the first volume. The first section of volume one describes the structure of arid ecosystems in terms of climate, soils, geomorphology, hydrology, flora and fauna. All continents except South America are covered. In the second section the processes which operate within, and control, the ecosystem are dealt with individually. This comprehensive account will be of importance to university teachers and professional ecologists throughout the world.
List of collaborators; Preface J. B. Cragg; Introduction R. A. Perry; Part I. Description and Structure of Arid Ecosystems W. G. McGinnies: 1. General description of desert areas W. G. McGinnies; 2. North America J. A. MacMahon; 3. North Africa H. N. Le Houerou; 4. Southern Africa O. A. Leistner; 5. Australia O. B. Williams; 6. South-west Asia R. N. Kaul and D. C. P. Thalen; 7. Central Asia L. E. Rodin; 8. Arid-land ecosystems - common features throughout the world W. G. McGinnies; Part II. Component Processes D. W. Goodall: 9. Introduction D. W. Goodall; 10. Diversity and niche structure E. R. Pianka; Part IIa. Atmospheric Processes I. R. Cowan: 11. Introduction R. D. Graetz and I. R. Cowan; 12. Radiation E. A. Fitzpatrick; 13. Precipitation F. C. Bell; 14. Atmospheric transport processes above arid-land vegetation M. Fuchs; 15. Microclimate and evaporation R. D. Graetz and I. R. Cowan; 16. Integration R. D. Graetz and I. R. Cowan; Part IIb. Soil Processes: 17. Soil processes in arid lands V. A. Kovda, E. M. Samoilova, J. L. Charley and J. J. Skujins; Part IIc. Plant Processes R. K. Gupta; 18. Introduction R. K. Gupta; 19. Germination and seedling behaviour F. W. Went; 20. Water uptake and translocation, stomatal movements and transpiration H. Meidner; 21. Photosynthesis, respiration and biochemical transformations E. J. DePuit; 22. Translocation of assimilates and creation, distribution and utilisation of reserves M. J. Trlica and J. S. Singh; 23. Root development and activities M. C. Drew; 24. Ion uptake, trasnport and excretion C. B. Osmond; 25. Flowering, seed formation and dispersal J. J. Mott; Appendix P. Chouard; 26. Formation, distribution and function of plant litter N. E. West; 27. Integration R. K. Gupta; Part IId. Animal Processes V. Roig and D. W. Goodall: 28. Introduction D. W. Goodall; 29. Food selection and consumption O. J. Reichman, I. Prakash and V. Roig; 30. Assimilation, respiration and production a) Invertebrates C. S. Crawford, b) Vertebrates D. R. Johnson and R. U. Schreiber; 31. Thermal and water relations N. F. Hadley; 32. Spacial and temporal distribution and behaviour W. A. Low; 33. Development and reproduction S. E. Reichert; 34. Longevity, mortality and disease G. T. Austin and M. J. O'Farrell; 35. Integration D. W. Goodall; Index.