Ecology of Sonoran Desert Plants and Plant Communities
Eight original essays by Sonoran Desert specialists such as Paul Martin and Richard Felger provide an overview of the practice of ecology at landscape, community, and organismal scales. The essays explore the rich diversity of plant life in the Sonoran Desert and the ecological patterns and processes that underlie it. They also reveal the history and scientific legacy of the Desert Laboratory in Tucson, which has conducted research on the Sonoran Desert since 1903.
Coverage includes diversity and affinities of the flora, physical environments and vegetation, landscape complexity and ecological diversity, population dynamics of annual plants, form and function of cacti, and the relationship between plants and the animals that use them as feeding and breeding resources. The text also examines the ecological consequences of modern agricultural development, as well as the impact on the modern biota of 40,000 years of change in climate, vegetation, megafauna, and ancient cultures.
This comprehensive book covers a broad range of spatial and temporal scales to highlight the diversity of research being pursued in the Sonoran Desert. It is both a testament to these ongoing studies and an authoritative introduction to the diverse plant life in the region.
"This collection of essays is an informative sampler of ongoing studies that will please those who wish to learn about the Sonoran Desert and the people who are involved in investigating its ecology. . . . A good addition to the library of anyone studying the arid regions of the world." —Plant Systematics and Evolution