Aridland Springs in North America: Ecology and Conservation

Overview

Springs ecosystems are among the most structurally complicated, ecologically and biologically diverse, productive, evolutionarily provocative, and threatened ecosystems on earth. Springs are places where groundwater reaches the earth’s surface through complex, tortuous, and sometimes lengthy flow paths. Historically, they have been revered as sacred places to almost all cultures. Geologically, springs represent some of the most interesting locales available for study. Biologically, springs ecosystems exert a ...

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Overview

Springs ecosystems are among the most structurally complicated, ecologically and biologically diverse, productive, evolutionarily provocative, and threatened ecosystems on earth. Springs are places where groundwater reaches the earth’s surface through complex, tortuous, and sometimes lengthy flow paths. Historically, they have been revered as sacred places to almost all cultures. Geologically, springs represent some of the most interesting locales available for study. Biologically, springs ecosystems exert a vastly disproportionate impact on regional ecology in relation to their size. In the otherwise harsh environments of arid lands, springs may provide long-term stable habitats that support unique species and evolutionary processes. Aridland Springs in North America offers a much-needed comprehensive synthesis of aridland springs ecology. Stevens and Meretsky have assembled chapters from numerous and diverse experts from the fields of geology, hydrology, geomorphology, water quality, ecosystem dynamics, water law, and conservation biology. Through analyses and case studies, these contributors provide an in-depth overview of these topics and address issues critical for improving the knowledge and conservation of springs. This volume goes beyond examining the ecological importance of aridland springs to provide practical and productive ideas for their preservation. The authors facilitate future research by cultivating a language with which to collectively describe and study springs ecosystems, creating the beginnings of a comprehensive springs classification system. This book could not be more timely, as groundwater depletion throughout the continent is rapidly decimating these vital sources of life.

CONTENTS

Prologue Gary P. Nabhan

1 Springs Ecosystem Ecology And Conservation Lawrence E. Stevens And Vicky J. Meretsky

2 The Demise Of Desert Springs Peter J. Unmack And W. L. Minckley*

3 The Hydrology Of Desert Springs In North America David K. Kreamer And Abe Springer

4 A Comprehensive Springs Classification System: Integrating Geomorphic, Hydrogeochemical, And Ecological Criteria Abraham E. Springer, Lawrence E. Stevens, Diana E. Anderson, Roderic A. Parnell1, David K. Kreamer, Lisa Levin, And Stephen P. Flora1

5 Quaternary Cauldron Springs As Paleoecological Archives C. Vance Haynes Jr.

6 The Extreme Environment, Trophic Structure, And Ecosystem Dynamics Of A Large Fishless Desert Spring: Montezuma Well, Arizona Dean W. Blinn

7 Combining Ecological Research And Conservation: A Case Study In Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, México Dean A. Hendrickson, Jane C. Marks, Angie Moline, Eric Dinger, Adam Cohen

8 The Desert Fan Palm Oasis James W. Cornett

9 Spring-Supported Vegetation Along The Colorado River, Colorado Plateau: Floristics, Vegetation Structure And Environment John R. Spence

10 Mechanisms Of Change In Seep/Spring Plant Communities On The Southern Colorado Plateau Vicky J. Meretsky

11 Biodiversity And Productivity At An Undisturbed Spring In Comparison With Adjacent Grazed Riparian And Upland Habitats Bianca S. Perla And Lawrence E. Stevens

12 Plant Diversity Influenced By Indigenous Management Of Freshwater Springs: Flora Of Quitovac, Sonora, Mexico Gary Paul Nabhan

13 Historic And Prehistoric Ethnobiology Of Desert Springs Amadeo M. Rea

14 Vegetation Dynamics Of Great Basin Springs: Potential Effects Of Groundwater Withdrawal Duncan Patten, Leigh Rouse, Juliet Stromberg

15 The Knowles Canyon Hanging Garden, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Eight Years After Burning: Changes In Vegetation And Soil Biota Tim B. Graham

16 Between The Cracks: Water Law And Spring Conservation In Arizona Nancy Nelson

17 Ep

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This volume is a must read for all who are interested in the oases or the future of water in the western states.” —Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816526451
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 11/6/2008
  • Series: ASDM Series
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicky J. Meretsky is an associate professor of conservation biology at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington.
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