First published in 1976, this volume describes the structure and functioning of grassland ecosystems. Five kinds of grassland are considered, namely natural temperate grasslands, semi-natural temperate meadows and pastures, tropical grasslands, arable grassland and cropland. Descriptions of the abundance and biomass of plants, animals and micro-organisms are provided, as well as an assessment of the activities of each functional group of organisms in relation to production, consumption and decomposition. Static models of energy flow and nutrient cycling are included, and the effects on the ecosystem of the management of grazing land and cropland are also considered. The volume is based on data collected in more than 50 studies made during the International Biological Programme studies in 22 countries.
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