The Biology of Deserts

The Biology of Deserts

by David Ward
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199211469

ISBN-13: 9780199211463

Pub. Date: 01/15/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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 experimental aspects as well as conservation and desertification are also considered.  See more details below

Overview

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 experimental aspects as well as conservation and desertification are also considered.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199211463
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/15/2009
Series:
Biology of Habitats Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Introduction 1

1.1 General introduction 1

1.2 What creates a desert? 2

1.3 Deserts have low precipitation and high variability in precipitation 2

1.4 How old are deserts? 3

1.5 Deserts are created by a lack of precipitation and not high temperatures 4

1.6 Aridity indices 5

1.7 What denies rainfall to deserts? 7

2 Abiotic factors 11

2.1 Precipitation 11

2.2 Temperature 19

2.3 Geology 20

2.4 Fire 27

3 Morphological and physiological adaptations of desert plants to the abiotic environment 29

3.1 Classifications of desert plants 29

3.2 Types of photosynthesis 34

3.3 Biological soil crusts 39

3.4 Annual plants 40

3.5 Grasses, forbs and shrubs/perennials 48

3.6 Geophytes 51

3.7 Stem and leaf succulents 56

3.8 Halophytes 60

3.9 Phreatophytes 62

4 Morphological, physiological, and behavioural adaptations of desert animals to the abiotic environment 66

4.1 Evaders and evaporators 68

4.2 Adaptations to handle unique situations 84

4.3 Endurers 87

4.4 Removing the effects of phylogeny 92

5 The role of competition and facilitation in structuring desert communities 102

5.1 Plant communities 102

5.2 Competition between animals 107

5.3 Indirect interactions: keystone species, apparent competition, and priority effects 118

6 The importance of predation and parasitism 124

6.1 Direct mortality 124

6.2 Predation risk 125

6.3 Isodars 126

6.4 Spiders 129

6.5 Scorpions 131

6.6 Visually hunting predators 132

6.7 Snakes, scent-hunting predators 133

6.8 Keystone predation 135

6.9 Animal parasites and parasitoids 137

7 Plant-animal interactions in deserts 145

7.1 Herbivory 145

7.2 Pollination 158

7.3 Seeddispersal and seed predation 167

7.4 Are these coevolved systems? 170

8 Desert food webs and ecosystem ecology 177

8.1 Do deserts have simple food webs? 177

8.2 The first supermodel-HSS 179

8.3 Interactions among habitats-donor-recipient habitat interactions 183

8.4 Effects of precipitation, nutrients, disturbances and decomposition 184

9 Biodiversity and biogeography of deserts 192

9.1 Are deserts species-poor? [alpha], [beta], and [gamma] diversity patterns 193

9.2 Productivity-diversity relationships in deserts 199

9.3 Convergence and divergence of desert communities 202

9.4 Large-scale patterns in desert biogeography 208

10 Human impacts and desertification 217

10.1 The sensitive desert ecosystem: myth or reality? 217

10.2 Pastoralism is the most important use of desert lands 222

10.3 Military manoeuvres threaten some desert habitats and protect others 237

10.4 Pumping aquifers: a problem of less water and more salinity 239

10.5 An embarrassment of riches: oil extraction in desert environments 240

10.6 When is it desertification? The importance of reversibility 242

11 Conservation of deserts 246

11.1 Are deserts worth conserving? 246

11.2 Conservation of desert species or habitats 246

11.3 The 3 Rs: reintroduction, recolonization, and revegetation 256

11.4 The coalface of evolution-genotype by environment interactions 261

11.5 Who gets to pay for this conservation and how is it controlled? 264

11.6 Conclusions 267

References 269

Index 317

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >