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Playas of the Great Plains Synopsis

Winner, Wildlife Publications Award -- Outstanding Book Category, The Wildlife Society, 2004 Texas Tech University President's Book Award, 2005 Shallow wetlands that occur primarily in semi-arid to arid environments, playas are keystone ecosystems in the western Great Plains of North America. Providing irreplaceable habitat for native plants and animals, including migratory birds, they are essential for the maintenance of biotic diversity throughout the region. Playas also serve to recharge the aquifer that supplies much of the water for the Plains states. At the same time, however, large-scale habitat changes have endangered playas across the Great Plains, making urgent the need to understand their ecology and implement effective conservation measures. This book provides a state-of-the-art survey of all that is currently known about Great Plains playa ecology and conservation. Loren Smith synthesizes his own extensive research with other published studies to define playas and characterize their origin, development, flora, fauna, structure, function, and diversity. He also thoroughly explores the human relationship with playas from prehistoric times, when they served as campsites for the Clovis peoples, to today's threats to playa ecosystems from agricultural activities and global climate change. A blueprint for government agencies, private conservation groups, and concerned citizens to save these unique prairie ecosystems concludes this landmark study.

Playas of the Great Plains Press Reviews

As a scientist, Loren Smith has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of playa ecology. Through Playas of the Great Plains he makes a further contribution by helping a wider audience understand the uniqueness and importance of these signature features of the Southern Great Plains. * Great Plains Research *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780292701779
Publication date: 1st November 2003
Author: Loren M. Smith
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 275 pages
Categories: Conservation of wildlife & habitats, Ecological science, the Biosphere, Wetlands, swamps, fens,

About Loren M. Smith

Loren M. Smith is the Caesar Kleberg Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Texas Tech University.

More About Loren M. Smith

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