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Grasses and Grassland Ecology (Oxford Biology) [Paperback]

David J. Gibson

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Book Description

30 Oct 2008 Oxford Biology
Grasslands, in particular managed pastures and rangelands, are widespread, covering approximately 40% (52 million km²) of the Earth's land surface. They are dominated by members of the Poaceae - the fourth largest plant family with over 7,500 species, and also the most widespread. Grasslands constitute a major biome on all continents except Antarctica and also represent the most important food crop on Earth with corn, wheat, maize, rice and millet accounting for the majority of our agricultural output.

Grasses and Grassland Ecology provides an ecologically orientated introduction to this influential group of plants, summarizing the most recent scientific research in ecology and agriculture in the context of the older, classic literature. Ten chapters cover the morphology, anatomy, physiology and systematics of grasses, their population, community and ecosystem ecology, their global distribution, and the effects of disturbance and grassland management.

This comprehensive and accessible textbook is suitable for graduate level students as well as professional researchers in the fields of plant ecology, rangeland science, crop science, and agriculture.

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More About the Author

My writing has been all science so far. One day I'll write a novel, perhaps when I've retired. In the meantime, I've published two books that I hope that you'll find useful.

Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, educated at Warden Park School Cuckfield, Haywards Heath College, University of Reading (BSc Botany), University of Oklahoma (MSc Botany), and University of Bangor (PhD). I now live in the US where I teach botany and ecology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

I love to look at plant communities and wonder. I wonder why the various species are there, how they got there, how they coexist, and the basis for the spatial heterogeneity that characterises all systems. I'm inspired by the observations in Darwin's Origin of Species, and wide open vistas such as the South Downs of Sussex, the mountains of Snowdonia, and the open plains of the US tallgrass prairie.

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An accomplished textbook that offers readers a carefully crafted, well-structured, and very readable expose of grasslands, their significance, function, and management. Gibson covers a very broad suite of subject material, which I consider one of this work's major strengths. There is great deal to like about this book. I would gladly recommend it to any student, landholder, policymaker, or restorationist whose interest or passions are drawn to the beauty of grasslands. (The Quarterly Review of Biology)

The scope of this book is considerable and the author is to be congratulated on his synthesis...This is a useful and welcome addition to an grassland library, bridging the gap between ecology texts and more agriculturally focused grassland science texts. (Grass and Forage Science)

About the Author

David Gibson, PhD was born and raised in Cuckfield, England. He obtained his BSc in botany from the University of Reading and went on to take a MS in botany from the University of Oklahoma, USA and PhD from the University of Wales. Gibson has published over 90 papers in scientific journals, most dealing with grasses or grasslands. His previous book 'Methods in Comparative Plant Population Ecology' was published by Oxford University Press in 2002. He is an Editor for the Journal of Ecology, and Associate Editor for the Journal of Vegetation Science, and a Professor of Plant Biology in the Department of Plant Biology and the Center for Ecology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA.

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