The Biology of DesertseBook - 2009
This book offers a concise but comprehensive introduction to desert ecology and adopts a strong evolutionary focus. As with other titles in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in the book is on the organisms that dominate this harsh environment, although theoretical and experimentalaspects as well as conservation and desertification are also considered Deserts are defined by their arid conditions; a consequence of this aridity is that most of the area occupied by desert is barren and monotonous, leading many people to regard it as wasteland. However, deserts are widespread and represent surprisingly biodiverse environments, although it is therelative simplicity of these ecosystems that makes them more tractable for study than more complex environments. In these resource-poor locations, natural selection is working at its most extreme and provides some of the best-known examples of Darwinian selection. The Biology of Deserts includes a wide range of ecological and evolutionary issues including morphological and physiological adaptations of desert plants and animals, species interactions, the importance of predation and parasitism, food webs, biodiversity and conservation. It features a balance ofplant and animal (both invertebrate and vertebrate) examples, and also emphasizes topical applied issues such as desertification and invasive species. The book concludes by considering the positive aspects of desert conservation.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 339 pages) : illustrations, maps, plans.