This volume brings together the results of international and interdisciplinary long-term studies on the new desert ecosystem and is divided into four main sections. The first section provides an overview of the physical characteristics of the area and covers geological, pedological, geomorphological and climatological aspects and their dynamics, especially dust-storm dynamics. The second focuses on the biotic aspects and highlights the spatial and temporal patterns of the flora and fauna. In the third section studies and projects aiming to combat desertification by phytomelioration and to develop strategies for the conservation of biodiversity are presented. The book is rounded off with a section providing a synthesis and conclusions.
The book offers insights into the impacts of environmental change on various service categories mentioned in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005): cultural, regulating, supporting and provisioning ecosystem services. Examples focus on biodiversity of plants and animals including trophic networks, and abiotic/biotic parameters such as soils, regional climate, water, nutrient and sediment cycles. The types of threats considered include land use and climate changes, as well as atmospheric fertilization. In terms of regulating and provisioning services, the emphasis is primarily on water regulation and supply as well as climate regulation and carbon sequestration. With regard to provisioning services, the synthesis of the book provides science-based recommendations for a sustainable land use portfolio including several options such as forestry, pasture management and the practices of indigenous peoples. In closing, the authors show how they integrated the local society by pursuing capacity building in compliance with the CBD-ABS (Convention on Biological Diversity - Access and Benefit Sharing), in the form of education and knowledge transfer for application.
Focusing on three key issues – botany/systematics, geography and biogeographical analysis – this book presents a thoroughly updated synthesis both of Chilean plant geography and of the different approaches to studying it. Because of its range – from the neotropics to the temperate sub-Antarctic – Chile’s flora provides a critical insight into evolutionary patterns, particularly in relation to the distribution along the latitudinal profiles and the global geographical relationships of the country’s genera. The consequences of these relations for the evolution of the Chilean Flora are discussed.
This book will provide a valuable resource for both graduate students and researchers in botany, plant taxonomy and systematics, biogeography, evolutionary biology and plant conservation.
The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado’s headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry.
Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.
The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert —and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.