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This volume is the last to be published in the series Ecosystem of the World.
Conifers and coniferous forests are an important element around us and attract our interest. This volume starts with an account of the history and distribution of the conifers. In six chapters the most important areas in Asia, Europe, North and South America with conifers forest are described covering boreal, temperate, tropical as well as mountainous regions. The descriptions are made out from a biome and an ecosystem perspective. Also detailed accounts on tree species other vegetation is also briefly described. Climatic and soil conditions are dealt with as well as disturbances. Interesting notes on vegetation classification is also to be found, among others from Russia.
The functional aspects of the conifer forests in terms of physiology, production, biomass, water and elemental cycling are dealt with in four chapters. Applied aspects as their economic value, management and importance for tourism are also presented.
Section I. Introductory. 1. Introduction. Section II. Structure, dynamics, disturbances and utilisation of conifer forests. 2. Boreal forests of Eurasia. 3. Boreal forests of North America. 4. European non-boreal conifer forests. 5. Coniferous forests in the temperate zone of Asia. 6. Non-boreal coniferous forests of North America 7. The coniferous forests of South America. Section III. Functional aspects on conifers and conifer forest ecosystems. 8. Special aspects of the physiology of conifers. 9. Primary production, yield and carbon dynamics of conifer forests. 10. Water cycling in conifer forest ecosystems. 11. Nutrient cycles in conifer forests. Section IV. Economy and management of conifer forests. 12. Importance of conifer forests seen in a global perspective. 13. Silviculture and management of conifer forests. 14. Nutritional management of conifer forests. Section V. Multiple role of conifer forests. 15. Recreation in conifer forests.