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

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 the relative 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 of plant 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.

Each of the books in the Oxford Biology of Habitats Series introduces a different habitat, and gives an integrated overview of the design, physiology, ecology, and behaviour of the organisms found there. The practical aspects of working within each habitat, the sorts of studies that are possible, and habitat biodiversity and conservation status are all explored.

Read More

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

1 Introduction 1

2 Abiotic factors 11

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

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

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

6 The importance of predation and parasitism 124

7 Plant-animal interactions in deserts 145

8 Desert food webs and ecosystem ecology 177

9 Biodiversity and biogeography of deserts 192

10 Human impacts and desertifiation 217

11 Conservation of deserts 246

References 269

Index 317

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >