Swallowtail butterflies frolic on the wind. Vireos and rock wrens sing their hearts out by the recovering creek. Spiders and other predators chase their next meal. Through it all, John Alcock observes, records, and delights in what he sees. In a once-burnt area, life resurges. Plants whose seeds and roots withstood an intense fire become habitat for the returning creatures of the wild. After the Wildfire describes the remarkable recovery of wildlife in the Mazatzal Mountains in central Arizona.
It is the rare observer who has the dedication to revisit the site of a wildfire, especially over many years and seasons. But naturalist John Alcock returned again and again to the Mazatzals, where the disastrous Willow fire of 2004 burned 187 square miles. Documenting the fire’s aftermath over a decade, Alcock thrills at the renewal of the once-blackened region. Walking the South Fork of Deer Creek in all seasons as the years passed, he was rewarded by the sight of exuberant plant life that in turn fostered an equally satisfying return of animals ranging from small insects to large mammals.
Alcock clearly explains the response of chaparral plants to fire and the creatures that reinhabit these plants as they come back from a ferocious blaze: the great spreadwing damselfly, the western meadowlark, the elk, and birds and bugs of rich and colorful varieties. This book is at once a journey of biological discovery and a celebration of the ability of living things to reoccupy a devastated location. Alcock encourages others to engage the natural world—even one that has burnt to the ground.
Contributors. Arun Agrawal, Mark Baker, Molly Chattopadhyaya, Vinay Gidwani, Sumit Guha, Shubhra Gururani, Cecile Jackson, David Ludden, Haripriya Rangan, Paul Robbins, Vasant Saberwal, James C. Scott, K. Sivaramakrishnan, Ajay Skaria, Jennifer Springer, Darren Zook
Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth and development and a key agricultural input-but in excess it can lead to a host of problems for human and ecological health. Across the globe, distribution of fertilizer nitrogen is very uneven, with some areas subject to nitrogen pollution and others suffering from reduced soil fertility, diminished crop production, and other consequences of inadequate supply.
Agriculture and the Nitrogen Cycle provides a global assessment of the role of nitrogen fertilizer in the nitrogen cycle. The focus of the book is regional, emphasizing the need to maintain food and fiber production while minimizing environmental impacts where fertilizer is abundant, and the need to enhance fertilizer utilization in systems where nitrogen is limited. The book is derived from a workshop held by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) in Kampala, Uganda, that brought together the world's leading scientists to examine and discuss the nitrogen cycle and related problems. It contains an overview chapter that summarizes the group's findings, four chapters on cross-cutting issues, and thirteen background chapters.
The book offers a unique synthesis and provides an up-to-date, broad perspective on the issues of nitrogen fertilizer in food production and the interaction of nitrogen and the environment.
Agroforestry -- the practice of integrating trees and other large woody perennials on farms and throughout the agricultural landscape -- is increasingly recognized as a useful and promising strategy that diversifies production for greater social, economic, and environmental benefits. Agroforestry and BiodiversityConservation in Tropical Landscapes brings together 46 scientists and practitioners from 13 countries with decades of field experience in tropical regions to explore how agroforestry practices can help promote biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes, to synthesize the current state of knowledge in the field, and to identify areas where further research is needed.
Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes is the first comprehensive synthesis of the role of agroforestry systems in conserving biodiversity in tropical landscapes, and contains in-depth review chapters of most agroforestry systems, with examples from many different countries. It is a valuable source of information for scientists, researchers, professors, and students in the fields of conservation biology, resource management, tropical ecology, rural development, agroforestry, and agroecology.
In Alien Species and Evolution, biologist George W. Cox reviews and synthesizes emerging information on the evolutionary changes that occur in plants, animals, and microbial organisms when they colonize new geographical areas, and on the evolutionary responses of the native species with which alien species interact.
The book is broad in scope, exploring information across a wide variety of taxonomic groups, trophic levels, and geographic areas. It examines theoretical topics related to rapid evolutionary change and supports the emerging concept that species introduced to new physical and biotic environments are particularly prone to rapid evolution. The author draws on examples from all parts of the world and all major ecosystem types, and the variety of examples used gives considerable insight into the patterns of evolution that are likely to result from the massive introduction of species to new geographic regions that is currently occurring around the globe.
Alien Species and Evolution is the only state-of-the-art review and synthesis available of this critically important topic, and is an essential work for anyone concerned with the new science of invasion biology or the threats posed by invasive species.
Leading landscape architect and planner Carl Steinitz has developed an innovative GIS-based simulation modeling strategy that considers the demographic, economic, physical, and environmental processes of an area and projects the consequences to that area of various land-use planning and management decisions. The results of such projections, and the approach itself, are known as "alternative futures."
Alternative Futures for Changing Landscapes presents for the first time in book form a detailed case study of one alternative futures project—an analysis of development and conservation options for the Upper San Pedro River Basin in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. The area is internationally recognized for its high levels of biodiversity, and like many regions, it is facing increased pressures from nearby population centers, agriculture, and mining interests. Local officials and others planning for the future of the region are seeking to balance the needs of the natural environment with those of local human communities.
The book describes how the research team, working with local stakeholders, developed a set of scenarios which encompassed public opinion on the major issues facing the area. They then simulated an array of possible patterns of land uses and assessed the resultant impacts on biodiversity and related environmental factors including vegetation, hydrology, and visual preference. The book gives a comprehensive overview of how the study was conducted, along with descriptions and analysis of the alternative futures that resulted. It includes more than 30 charts and graphs and more than 150 color figures.
Scenario-based studies of alternative futures offer communities a powerful tool for making better-informed decisions today, which can help lead to an improved future. Alternative Futures for Changing Landscapes presents an important look at this promising approach and how it works for planners, landscape architects, local officials, and anyone involved with making land use decisions on local and regional scales.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, American cities began to go dark. Hulking new buildings overspread blocks, pollution obscured the skies, and glass and smog screened out the health-giving rays of the sun. Doctors fed anxities about these new conditions with claims about a rising tide of the "diseases of darkness," especially rickets and tuberculosis.
In American Sunshine, Daniel Freund tracks the obsession with sunlight from those bleak days into the twentieth century. Before long, social reformers, medical professionals, scientists, and a growing nudist movement proffered remedies for America’s new dark age. Architects, city planners, and politicians made access to sunlight central to public housing and public health. and entrepreneurs, dairymen, and tourism boosters transformed the pursuit of sunlight and its effects into a commodity. Within this historical context, Freund sheds light on important questions about the commodification of health and nature and makes an original contribution to the histories of cities, consumerism, the environment, and medicine.
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