Foreword P. W. Roux; Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. The Driving Variables W. Dean and S. Milton: 1. The climate of the Karoo - a functional approach P. Desmet and R. Cowling; 2. Soils of the arid south-western zone of Africa M. Watkeys; 3. Paleoenvironments M. Meadows and M. Watkeys; 4. Plant biogeography, endemism and diversity R. Cowling and C. Hilton-Taylor; 5. Biogeography, endemism and diversity of animals C. Vernon; Part II. Form and Function B. Lovegrove: 6. Form and function in perennial plants G. Midgley and F. van der Heyden; 7. Functional aspects of annual and biennial plants M. van Rooyen; 8. Plant reproductive ecology K. Esler; 9. Animal form and function B. Lovegrove; 10. Animal foraging and food W. Dean and S. Milton; Part III. Dynamics P. Novellie: 11. Population-level dynamics S. Milton, R. Davies and G. Kerley; 12. Community patterns and dynamics A. Palmer, P. Novellie and J. Lloyd; 13. Modelling populations and community dynamics in Karoo ecosystems K. Kellner and J. Booysen; 14. Spatially explicit computer simulation models - tools for understanding vegetation dynamics and supporting rangeland management F. Jeltsch, T. Wiegand and C. Wissel; Part IV. Human Impacts W. Siegfried: 15. Hunters and herders in the Karoo landscape A. Smith; 16. Historial and contemporary land use and the desertification of the Karoo M. Hoffman, B. Cousins, T. Meyer, A. Petersen and H. Hendricks; 17. Alien plant invaders of the Karoo: attributes, impacts and control S. Milton, H. Zimmerman and J. Hoffman; 18. Comparison of ecosystem processes in the Nama Karoo and other deserts W. Whitford; 18. The Succulent Karoo in a global context: plant structural and functional concepts comparison with North American winter rainfall deserts K. Esler, P. Rundel and R. Cowling; 20. The Karoo: past and present S. Milton and W. Dean; References; Index.