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Playas of the Great Plains by Loren M. Smith
  

Synopsis

Playas of the Great Plains by Loren M. Smith

Winner, Wildlife Publications Award -- Outstanding Book Category, The Wildlife Society, 2004Texas 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.

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 *


About the Author

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

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Book Info

Publication date

1st November 2003

Author

Loren M. Smith

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Publisher

University of Texas Press

Format

Paperback
275 pages

Categories

Conservation of wildlife & habitats
Ecological science, the Biosphere
Wetlands, swamps, fens

ISBN

9780292701779

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