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About this book
About this book
Definitive synthesis of current desert ecosystems knowledge. The material includes the role of climate variability, spatial variability and the adaptation of organisms to desert conditions. It describes how such concepts drive the productivity of arid areas. The text is global in its perspective, including detail of the desert regions of Africa and Australia.
Conceptual Framework and Paradigms. Landforms, Geomorphology, and Vegetation. Characterization of Desert Climates. Wind and Water Processes. Patch - Mosaic Dynamics. Adaptations. Primary Production. Consumers, Consumption, and Secondary Production. Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling. Desertification. Monitoring and Assessment. Desert Ecosystems in the Future.
Walter Whitford is Senior Research Ecologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was previously professor of biology at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, for nearly 30 years. He is executive editor of Journal of Arid Environments (Academic Press). He has authored or coauthored more than 250 peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of desert ecology.
343 pages, B/w photos, illus, figs, tabs
Ecology of Desert Systems is well written and would be engaging for students with some knowledge of biology. It should also appeal to most professional ecologists who want a succinct and authoritiative summary of the important aspects of desert biology. It is written by someone who has paid his dues spending as much time in the field studying deserts as almost anyone I know. -James A. MacMahon, for ECOLOGY, April 2003 "Whitford's book delivers a large amount of information on arid regions ... I can recommend this book to anyone interested in the ecology of arid lands." - Stefan Porembski, for PLANT SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTIONS, 2004