Ecological investigation of subtropical deserts began with the establishment by D. T. MacDougal in 1902, of the “Desert Laboratory of the Carnegy Institution of Washington” near Tucson, Arizona, in the north-western part of the Sonoran desert. In 1929/30, when MacDougal was succeeded by Forest Shreve, the senior author had the opportunity, as a Rockerfeller fellow, of doing research at the Desert Laboratory on the water economy of desert plants (Walter 1931); the experience gained there shaped all his subsequent work. At that time, Tucson was a small, mainly Mexican-influenced town, and the laboratory was situated in a nature reserve 8 km away, on Tumamoc Hill, in the midst of almost untouched desert vegetation..
KeywordsSonoran Desert Mohave Desert Chihuahua Desert Altitudinal Belt Column Cactus
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.