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Introduction

  • Sara F. Oldfield
  • Peggy Olwell
  • Nancy Shaw
  • Kayri Havens
Chapter
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)

Abstract

The United States (U.S.) has an extraordinary range of landscapes, ecosystems, and vegetation types, varying from desert to rainforest and from Arctic tundra in northern Alaska to subtropical swamps in southern Florida. The land has been modified by humans to some extent since prehistoric times, but there is still a magnificence of natural diversity to manage and celebrate. The very destiny of the U.S. has been linked with its spectacular landscapes nature symbolizing national greatness from the time of American independence. Geologic and climatic forces have sculpted the landscapes traversed today. Plants provide a surface covering, define vegetation and ecosystems, and give a visual identity to localities across the nation. Plants are woven into the very fabric of human existence, but their fundamental importance is frequently overlooked. In this book we discuss how and why managing, conserving, and restoring the landscapes, ecosystems, and vegetation types of the U.S. requires a new awareness of the plant diversity on which people depend.

Keywords

Landscapes Ecosystems Vegetation types Native plant communities Extreme weather events Ecological resilience UN Biodiversity Targets 

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara F. Oldfield
    • 1
  • Peggy Olwell
    • 2
  • Nancy Shaw
    • 3
  • Kayri Havens
    • 4
  1. 1.CambridgeUK
  2. 2.Bureau of Land ManagementWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.USDA Forest ServiceRocky Mountain Research StationBoiseUSA
  4. 4.Chicago Botanic GardenGlencoeUSA

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