Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and by Reed F. Noss

By Reed F. Noss

Forgotten Grasslands of the South is a literary and medical case examine of a few of the biologically richest and so much endangered ecosystems in North the United States. Eminent ecologist Reed Noss tells the tale of the way southern grasslands arose and persevered over the years and addresses questions which are primary for maintaining those very important but poorly understood ecosystems.

The writer examines:

  • the average background of southern grasslands
  • their beginning and historical past (geologic, plants, and human)
  • biological hotspots and endangered ecosystems
  • physical determinants of grassland distribution, together with ecology, soils, landform, and hydrology hearth, herbivores, and ecological interactions.

The ultimate bankruptcy offers a common conservation procedure for southern grasslands, together with prioritization, defense, recovery, and administration. additionally integrated are examples of ongoing recovery initiatives, besides a analysis for the future.

In addition to delivering attention-grabbing new information regarding those little-studied ecosystems, Noss demonstrates how usual background is crucial to the perform of conservation. average historical past has been on a declining trajectory for many years, as thought and experimentation have ruled the sphere of ecology. Ecologists are coming to achieve that those divergent techniques are in truth complementary, and that pursuing them jointly can carry better wisdom and knowing of ways the flora and fauna works and the way we will be able to top preserve it.

Forgotten Grasslands of the South explores the overarching significance of ecological procedures in preserving fit ecosystems, and is the 1st publication of its type to use traditional historical past, in a latest, entire experience, to the conservation of biodiversity throughout a vast quarter. It units a brand new common for clinical literature and is vital analyzing not just in case you research and paintings to preserve the grasslands of the South but in addition for everybody who's eager about the ordinary world.

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Extra info for Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and Conservation

Sample text

Parts of the South were rather densely populated by Native Americans, and this was also the first region of North America explored by Europeans. Contrary to common assumptions and claims, however, it has yet to be shown that humans have created grasslands anywhere on any substantial scale. Many southern grasslands show irrefutable evidence of existence long before humans arrived in North America. The evidence of antiquity includes pre-Pleistocene fossils of grassland-associated plants and animals, as well as current biogeographic patterns, such as high endemism of grassland species in the South and disjunctions of grassland taxa between the southeastern United States and the Great Plains and the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Instead, the ecological structure, function, and composition of a grassland are shaped by multiple factors operating together. Positive and negative feedback loops and mutual causality (reciprocal relationships between factors) are fundamental to the maintenance and resilience of ecosystems. 1. A general conceptual model for the origin and maintenance of southern grasslands. For particular cases, the influence of the factors identified here would vary widely. See text for explanation. 1, the general model suggests that (1) Climate is important.

John Muir felt this freedom, too, in the pine savannas of Georgia during his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico in 1867: “The pines wide apart; the sunny spaces between full of beautiful abounding grasses, liatris, long wand-like solidago…. ” I am persuaded by the evidence that early humans evolved in the African savanna, and that we still seek—or with our lawns and golf courses, attempt to create a semblance of—savanna environments today in order to satisfy an atavistic craving for openness, visibility against enemies, good hunting, and fewer bugs and diseases.

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