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© 2013

Forgotten Grasslands of the South

Natural History and Conservation

  • Authors
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Reed F. Noss
    Pages 33-71
  3. Reed F. Noss
    Pages 181-237
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 267-317

About this book

Introduction

Forgotten Grasslands of the South is a literary and scientific case study of some of the biologically richest and most endangered ecosystems in North America. Eminent ecologist Reed Noss tells the story of how southern grasslands arose and persisted over time and addresses questions that are fundamental for conserving these vital yet poorly understood ecosystems.

The author examines

  • the natural history of southern grasslands
  • their origin and history (geologic, vegetation, and human)
  • biological hotspots and endangered ecosystems
  • physical determinants of grassland distribution, including ecology, soils, landform, and hydrology fire, herbivores, and ecological interactions

The final chapter presents a general conservation strategy for southern grasslands, including prioritization, protection, restoration, and management. Also included are examples of ongoing restoration projects, along with a prognosis for the future.

In addition to offering fascinating new information about these little-studied ecosystems, Noss demonstrates how natural history is central to the practice of conservation. Natural history has been on a declining trajectory for decades, as theory and experimentation have dominated the field of ecology. Ecologists are coming to realize that these divergent approaches are in fact complementary, and that pursuing them together can bring greater knowledge and understanding of how the natural world works and how we can best conserve it.

Forgotten Grasslands of the South explores the overarching importance of ecological processes in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and is the first book of its kind to apply natural history, in a modern, comprehensive sense, to the conservation of biodiversity across a broad region. It sets a new standard for scientific literature and is essential reading not only for those who study and work to conserve the grasslands of the South but also for everyone who is fascinated by the natural world.

Keywords

Ecology Ecosystem Endemic species Grassland Southeastern US

About the authors

Reed Noss is Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Central Florida and President of the Florida Institute for Conservation Science. He has a B.S. in Education from the University of Dayton, an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Conservation Biology (1993-1997), President of the Society for Conservation Biology (1999-2001), and President of the North American Section of the Society (2006-2008). He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on many boards and advisory panels, including the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology, the Board of Trustees of the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Florida’s Acquisition and Restoration Council. He recently served as Vice-Chair of a Federal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

Professor Noss has nearly 300 publications and is recognized as one of the 500 most highly cited authors in all fields. His research involves the application of science to species-level and ecosystem-level conservation planning, restoration, and management. He is currently writing a book on southern grasslands, studying the effects of suburban and exurban development on bird communities, and conducting research on impacts of, and adaptation to, sea-level rise in Florida.

Bibliographic information

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