Ecology of the Shortgrass Steppe: A Long-Term Perspective summarizes and synthesizes more than 60 years of research that has been conducted throughout the shortgrass region.
The shortgrass steppe was an important focus of the International Biological Programme's Grassland Biome project that ran from the late 1960s until the mid 1970s. The work conducted by the Grassland Biome project was preceded by almost 40 years of research by U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers - primarily from the Agricultural Research Service - and followed to the present by the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research project. Ecology of the Shortgrass Steppe is an enormously rich source of data and insight into the structure and function of a semiarid grassland.
1. The Shortgrass Steppe: The Region and Research Sites; 2. Climate of the Shortgrass Steppe; 3. Soil Development and Distribution in the Shortgrass Steppe Ecosystem; 4. Land Use History on the Shortgrass Steppe; 5. Vegetation of the Shortgrass Steppe; 6. The role of disturbances in shortgrass steppe community and ecosystem dynamics; 7. Simulation of Disturbances and Recovery in Shortgrass Steppe Plant Communities; 8. Ecology of mammals of shortgrass steppe; 9. Birds of the Shortgrass Steppe; 10. Insect Populations, Community Interactions, and Ecosystem Processes in Shortgrass Steppe; 11. Trophic Structure and Nutrient Dynamics of the Belowground Food Web within the Rhizosphere of the Shortgrass Steppe; 12. Net Primary Production in the Shortgrass Steppe; 13. Soil Organic Matter and Nutrient Dynamics of Shortgrass Steppe Ecosystems; 14. Soil-Atmosphere Exchange of Trace Gases in the Colorado Shortgrass Steppe; 15. The Shortgrass Steppe and Ecosystem Modeling; 16. Effects of Grazing on Vegetation; 17. Cattle Grazing on the Shortgrass Steppe; 18. Effects of Grazing on Abundance and Distribution of Shortgrass Steppe Consumers; 19. The Future of the Shortgrass Steppe
Much of what we know about grasslands stems from over 40 years of research at the Shortgrass Steppe Long-Term Ecological Research station, which is complied in this volume by 34 authors. Moving beyond important early chapters that provide descriptive context for the shortgrass steppe, several contributions provide a deep population-level understanding of how the dominant grass, Bouteloua gracilis responds to disturbance and environmental drivers. The Quarterly Review of Biology