Ecology of Desert Systems

TitleEcology of Desert Systems
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsWhitford WG
Series EditorWhitford WG
PublisherAcademic Press
CityNew York, NY
ARIS Log Number139437
Keywordscommunity, desert systems, ecology, physiological ecology, population, research

Conventional wisdom considers deserts stark, harsh regions that support few living things. Most people also believe that water alone makes the desert bloom. Ecology of Desert Systems challenges these conventional views. This volume explores a broad range of topics of interest to ecosystem, population, community, and physiological ecologists. Climate, weather patterns, geomorphology, and wind and water processes are examined as variables that affect the distribution of biota through fundamental ecosystem processes. Descriptions of morphological, behavioral, and physiological adaptations of desert biota illuminate, through the lens of patch dynamics, principles for understanding observed patterns of primary production, nutrient cycling, and the effects of consumers. Desertification and the techniques for monitoring and quantifying it is examined within the framework of desert ecosystem patterns and processes. With 12 chapters and over 70 figures and tables, Ecology of Desert Systems is the only book that covers the entire desert ecosystem at this academic level. Readers are provided with an excellent reference framework for their desert ecology research.