Table of contents for Ecology of desert systems / Walter Whitford ; illustrations by Elizabeth Ludwig Wade.


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Chapter 1 Conceptual Framework and Paradigms                       1
I.1 Pattern and Process                                          2
1.2 Definition of Ecosystem                                      6
1.3 Landscape Units                                              9
1.4 Questions                                                   10
1.5 Defining Deserts                                            11
1.6 The Pulse-Reserve Paradigm and the Autecological Hypothesis  12
1.7 Temporally Uncoupled Resources                              14
1.8 The Soil Resource                                           14
1.9 Ecosystem Processes                                         16
1.10 Problems of Scaling                                         18
References                                                  18
Chapter 2 Landforms, Geomorphology, and Vegetation               21
2.1 Desert Mountains and Hillslopes                             22
2.2 Piedmonts, Alluvial Fans, and Bajadas                       24
2.3 Ephemeral Streams                                           30
2.4 Basins and Flatlands                                        33
2.5 Desert Pavements and Stony Surfaces                         36
2.6 Rivers and Floodplains                                      37
2.7 Sand Dunes and Sand Features                                37
2.8 Landform Stability                                          40
References                                                  40
Chapter 3 Characterization of Desert Climates                    43
3.1 Seasonality                                                 48
3.2 Spatial Effects                                             52
3.3 Predictability                                              53
3.4 Intensity, Duration, Frequency, and Return Time             55
3.5 Microclimate                                                58
References                                                  61



Chapter 4 Wind and Water Processes                                      65
4.1 Wind Erosion                                                       65
4.2 Redistribution of Rainfall                                         71
4.2.1 Interception and Stem Flow                                   73
4.2.2 Throughfall                                                  76
4.3 Splash Erosion-kinetic Energy of Raindrops                         77
4.4 Infiltration and Run-off                                           78
4.5 Exchanges Among Landscape Units                                    84
4.6 Exchanges Within Landscape Units                                   86
4.7 Episodic Events                                                    88
4.8 Ephemeral Ponds and Lakes                                          90
References                                                         93
Chapter 5 Patch-Mosaic Dynamics                                         97
5.1 Seeds: Germination-Establishment Sites                             97
5.2 Single Species Patches                                            102
5.3 Intraspecific Morphological Variation                             103
5.4 Mosaics and Multi-species Patches                                 104
5.5 Competition versus Facilitation                                   106
5.6 Animal-produced Patches                                           110
5.7 Temporal Dynamics and Feedbacks                                   117
References                                                        119
Chapter 6 Adaptations                                                   123
6.1 Avoidance of Extremes                                             123
6.1.1 Annual Plants                                                124
6.1.2 Drought Deciduous Perennials                                 125
6.1.3 Amphibians                                                  126
6.1.4 Reptiles                                                    129
6.1.5 Mammals                                                      129
6.1.6 Birds                                                       131
6.1.7 Arthropods                                                   131
6.2 Physiological and Morphological Adaptations                       133
6.2.1 Perennial Plants                                            133
6.2.2 Reptiles                                                    141
6.2.3 Invertebrates                                                142
6.2.4 Large Mammals                                               143
6.2.5 Small Mammals                                               148
6.2.6 Carnivores                                                  150
6.2.7 Birds                                                       150
References                                                        151



Chapter 7 Primary Production                                        157
7.1 Measurement of Net Primary Production                          157
7.2 Comparisons of Production Estimates with Mesic Ecosystems      160
7.3 Rain Use Efficiency                                            161
7.4 Below-ground Productivity                                      162
7.5 Models of AGNPP                                                163
7.6 Landscape Relationships                                        166
7.7 Productivity in Extreme Deserts                                170
7.8 Productivity Linked to Rainfall                                171
7.9 Productivity of Species and Functional Groups                  172
References                                                     178
Chapter 8 Consumers, Consumption, and Secondary Production 181
8. I Secondary Production                                          181
8.2 Foliage Chewers and Browsers: Vertebrate and Invertebrate      185
8.3 Canopy Insect Communities                                      192
8.4 Surface Active Arthropods                                      198
8.5 Large Herbivores: Grazers                                      202
8.6 Granivory                                                      206
8.7 Impacts of Rodents and Ants on Ecosystem Structure and Processes 213
8.8 Vertebrate Predators                                           215
8.9 Below-ground Food Webs                                         220
8. 0 Ephemeral Ponds and Lakes                                      222
References                                                     226
Chapter 9 Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling                        235
9.1 Nutrient Limitations                                           235
9.2 Decomposition                                                  237
9.2.1 Sources and Characteristics of Decomposable Material     238
9.2.2 Rates and Mechanisms of Mass Loss (Surface Litter)        239
9.2.3 Spatial Variation                                         244
9.2.4 Decomposition of Buried Litter and Roots                 245
9.2.5 The Role of Microfauna in Decomposition and Mineralization  247
9.2.6 The Role of Termites                                      249
9.2.7 Conceptual Model of Decomposition Processes in Deserts   251
9.3 Landscape Patterns of Nutrient Distribution                    252
9.4 Resorption                                                     257
9.5 Nitrogen Cycle                                                 258
9.5.1 Nitrogen Fixation                                        258
9.5.2 Nitrogen Losses                                           262
9.6 Other Potentially Limiting Nutrients                           266
9.7 Role of Mycorrhizae                                            266
References                                                     269



Chapter 10 Desertification                                       275
10.1 History of Desertification                                  277
10.2 Ecosystem and Landscape Consequences of Desertification     282
10.3 Resistance and Resilience of Desertified Landscapes         289
10.4 Desertification and Climate Change                          290
10.5 Social and Economic Consequences of Desertification         291
10.6 Effects of Desertification on Biodiversity                  293
10.7 Rehabilitation of Desertified Landscapes                    295
References                                                  301
Chapter 11 Monitoring and Assessment                             305
11.1 Definitions                                                 306
11.2 Existing Assessment and Monitoring Systems                  306
11.3 Data for Assessment and Monitoring                          309
11.4 Ecosystem Functions                                         310
11.5 Indicators                                                  310
References                                                  316
Chapter 12 Desert Ecosystems in the Future                       319
References                                                  325
Index                                                             327








Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Desert ecology, Deserts