This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license. This book provides an unprecedented synthesis of the current status of scientific and management knowledge regarding global rangelands and the major challenges that confront them. It has been organized around three major themes. The first summarizes the conceptual advances that have occurred in the rangeland profession. The second addresses the implications of these conceptual advances to management and policy. The third assesses several major challenges confronting global rangelands in the 21st century. This book will compliment applied range management textbooks by describing the conceptual foundation on which the rangeland profession is based. It has been written to be accessible to a broad audience, including ecosystem managers, educators, students and policy makers. The content is founded on the collective experience, knowledge and commitment of 80 authors who have worked in rangelands throughout the world. Their collective contributions indicate that a more comprehensive framework is necessary to address the complex challenges confronting global rangelands. Rangelands represent adaptive social-ecological systems, in which societal values, organizations and capacities are of equal importance to, and interact with, those of ecological processes. A more comprehensive framework for rangeland systems may enable management agencies, and educational, research and policy making organizations to more effectively assess complex problems and develop appropriate solutions.
Invasions by exotic grasses, particularly annuals, rank among the most extensive and intensive ways that humans are contributing to the transformation of the earth’s surface. The problem is particularly notable with a suite of exotic grasses in the Bromus genus in the arid and semiarid regions that dominate the western United States, which extend from the dry basins near the Sierra and Cascade Ranges across the Intermountain Region and Rockies to about 105° longitude. This genus includes approximately 150 species that have a wide range of invasive and non-invasive tendencies in their home ranges and in North America. Bromus species that became invasive upon introduction to North America in the late 1800’s, such as Bromus tectorum and B. rubens, have since became the dominant cover on millions of hectares. Here, millenia of ecosystem development led to landscapes that would otherwise be dominated by perennial shrubs, herbs, and biotic soil crusts that were able to persist in spite of variable and scarce precipitation. This native ecosystem resilience is increasingly coveted by land owners and managers as more hectares lose their resistance to Bromus grasses and similar exotics and as climate, land use, and disturbance-regime changes are also superimposed. Managers are increasingly challenged to glean basic services from these ecosystems as they become invaded. Exotic annual grasses reduce wildlife and livestock carrying capacity and increase the frequency and extent of wildfi res and associated soil erosion. This book uses a unique ecoregional and multidisciplinary approach to evaluate the invasiveness, impacts, and management of the large Bromus genus. Students, researchers, and practitioners interested in Bromus specifically and invasive exotics in general will benefit from the depth of knowledge summarized in the book.
The book aims to initiate a sustainable use of land and water resources in Central Asia by the transfer of scientific methods. It deals with the most advanced methods worldwide for better monitoring and management of water and land resources. We offer an array of methods of measuring, assessing, forecasting, utilizing and controling processes in agricultural landscapes. These are laboratory and field measurement methods, methods of resource evaluation, functional mapping and risk assessment, and remote sensing methods for monitoring and modeling large areas. The book contains methods and results of data analysis and ecosystem modeling, of bioremediation of soil and water, field monitoring of soils, and methods and technologies for optimizing land use systems as well. The chapter authors are inventors and advocators of novel transferrable methods. The book starts with an analysis of the current state of water and land resources. Finally concrete proposals for the applicability of novel methods are given.
The idea of this book started at approximately 33.000 feet, somewhere above the Alps. On our way to a workshop in Venice we had the opportunity of appreciating the different types of landscapes and the complex patchwork of urban areas, agriculture, forests, rivers and lakes that can be seen from an aircraft. The complexity of this puzzle, and the complex task of managing its evolution, became the topic of conversation for the rest of the flight. It also became the topic of this book. Land-use management and multicriteria analysis offer countless opportunities for mutual reinforcement. These two fields have developed largely independently, but a trend towards the exploration of their synergies is now emerging. This is clear from the recent literature on land-use management, spatial analysis and spatial planning, which increasingly includes references to multicriteria methodologies and decision analysis. At the same time, a growing share of multicriteria applications now focus on environmental and land-use issues. This book includes contributions from authors coming from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. All together they highlight current issues in multicriteria analysis and land-use management from theoretical, methodological and practical perspectives.
This volume investigates how large herbivores not only influence the structure and distribution of the vegetation, but also affect nutrient flows and the responses of associated fauna. The mechanisms and processes underlying the herbivores' behavior, distribution, movement and direct impact on the vegetation are discussed in detail. It is shown that an understanding of plant/animal interactions can inform the management of large herbivores to integrate production and conservation in terrestrial systems.
The understanding and management of land resources used by grazing animals are of major importance to ecologists and agricultural and environmental scientists. This book fills a major gap in the market by synthesising a range of perspectives on grazing systems, drawn from plant science, animal science and ecology. It outlines the principles of herbage growth and competition; of animal nutrition and grazing behavior; and of the interactions of plant and animal factors that are central to an understanding of grazing systems. Chapters on the management of grazing systems cover both intensive and extensive systems (including rangelands) from all major agroecological zones of the world. The book is written by leading authorities from the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel and France. It represents a major contribution to the literature for advanced students and research workers concerned with plant science (especially grasslands), animal science (especially ruminants), and natural and agricultural ecosystems.
The question in the title of this book draws attention to the shortcomings of a concept that has become a political tool of global importance even as the scientific basis for its use grows weaker. The concept of desertification, it can be argued, has ceased to be analytically useful and distorts our understanding of social-environmental systems and their resiliency, particularly in poor countries with variable rainfall and persistent poverty. For better policy and governance, we need to reconsider the scientific justification for international attempts to combat desertification. Our exploration of these issues begins in the Sahel of West Africa, where a series of severe droughts at the end of the 20th century led to the global institutionalization of the idea of desertification. It now seems incontrovertible that these droughts were not caused primarily by local land use mismanagement, effectively terminating a long-standing policy and scientific debate. There is now an opportunity to treat this episode as an object lesson in the relationship between science, the formation of public opinion and international policy-making. Looking beyond the Sahel, the chapters in this book provide case studies from around the world that examine the use and relevance of the desertification concept. Despite an increasingly sophisticated understanding of dryland environments and societies, the uses now being made of the desertification concept in parts of Asia exhibit many of the shortcomings of earlier work done in Africa. It took scientists more than three decades to transform a perceived desertification crisis in the Sahel into a non-event. This book is an effort to critically examine that experience and accelerate the learning process in other parts of the world.
This volume brings together, in a central text, chapters written by leading scholars working at the intersection of modeling, the natural and social sciences, and public participation. This book presents the current state of knowledge regarding the theory and practice of engaging stakeholders in environmental modeling for decision-making, and includes basic theoretical considerations, an overview of methods and tools available, and case study examples of these principles and methods in practice. Although there has been a significant increase in research and development regarding participatory modeling, a unifying text that provides an overview of the different methodologies available to scholars and a systematic review of case study applications has been largely unavailable. This edited volume seeks to address a gap in the literature and provide a primer that addresses the growing demand to adopt and apply a range of modeling methods that includes the public in environmental assessment and management. The book is divided into two main sections. The first part of the book covers basic considerations for including stakeholders in the modeling process and its intersection with the theory and practice of public participation in environmental decision-making. The second part of the book is devoted to specific applications and products of the various methods available through case study examination. This second part of the book also provides insight from several international experts currently working in the field about their approaches, types of interactions with stakeholders, models produced, and the challenges they perceived based on their practical experiences.
This open access book surveys the frontier of scientific river research and provides examples to guide management towards a sustainable future of riverine ecosystems. Principal structures and functions of the biogeosphere of rivers are explained; key threats are identified, and effective solutions for restoration and mitigation are provided. Rivers are among the most threatened ecosystems of the world. They increasingly suffer from pollution, water abstraction, river channelisation and damming. Fundamental knowledge of ecosystem structure and function is necessary to understand how human acitivities interfere with natural processes and which interventions are feasible to rectify this. Modern water legislation strives for sustainable water resource management and protection of important habitats and species. However, decision makers would benefit from more profound understanding of ecosystem degradation processes and of innovative methodologies and tools for efficient mitigation and restoration. The book provides best-practice examples of sustainable river management from on-site studies, European-wide analyses and case studies from other parts of the world. This book will be of interest to researchers in the field of aquatic ecology, river system functioning, conservation and restoration, to postgraduate students, to institutions involved in water management, and to water related industries.
Rangelands are large natural landscapes that can include grasslands, shrublands, savannahs and woodlands. They are greatly influenced by, and often dependent on, the action of herbivores. In the majority of rangelands the dominant herbivores are found in domestic herds that are managed by mobile pastoralists. Most pastoralists manage their rangelands communally, benefitting from the greater flexibility and seasonal resource access that common property regimes can offer. As this book shows, this creates a major challenge for governance and institutions. This work improves our understanding of the importance of governance, how it can be strengthened and the principles that underpin good governance, in order to prevent degradation of rangelands and ensure their sustainability. It describes the nature of governance at different levels: community governance, state governance, international governance, and the unique features of rangelands that demand collective action (issues of scale, ecological disequilibrium and seasonality). A series of country case studies is presented, drawn from a wide spectrum of examples from Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and North America. These provide contrasting lessons which are summarised to promote improved governance of rangelands and pastoralist livelihoods.
This book addresses two general questions that have arisen as a result of the uneven rise of the various Asian economies in contemporary times. First, to lift people out of poverty and to improve the quality of their lives, how do we institute policies that will ensure economic growth in the different regions of Asia? Second, what can we do to ensure that the economic growth we seek is sustainable so that the regional economic development that emerges is broad-based, inclusive, and environmentally conscious? Specifically, this edited book will provide a unified perspective on regional growth and sustainable development in Asia by focusing on the above two broad questions. The book will emphasize dynamic modeling and it will illustrate the role that sound theoretical and empirical modeling of an intertemporal nature can play in shedding light on salient public policy questions concerning regional growth and sustainable development. The specific topics to be addressed in this book include growth accounting, natural resource use and management, the regulation of environmental externalities, geographic information systems, and regional climate change. The individual chapters in this book will be written by international experts who are also active researchers in their respective fields. Therefore, this book is highly recommended to all readers who seek an in-depth and up-to-date perspective on some of the most salient issues at the interface of regional growth and sustainable development in Asia.
Tree based production systems abound especially in the tropics. Despite the pervasiveness of such multipurpose “trees-outside-forest” resources, they have not attracted adequate attention in the development paradigms of many nation states. These multispecies production systems impact the ecosystem processes favourably. Yet, our understanding of the diversity attributes and carbon dynamics under agroforestry is not adequate. This book focuses on the role of multispecies production systems involving tree and crop species as a means for carbon sequestration and thereby reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Sixteen chapters organized into three broad sections titled: Measurement and Estimation, Agrobiodiversity and Tree Management, and Policy and Socioeconomic Aspects represent a cross section of the opportunities and challenges in current research and emerging issues in harnessing carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems.
Coping with Global Environmental Change, Disasters and Security - Threats, Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Risks reviews conceptual debates and case studies focusing on disasters and security threats, challenges, vulnerabilities and risks in Europe, the Mediterranean and other regions. It discusses social science concepts of vulnerability and risks, global, regional and national security challenges, global warming, floods, desertification and drought as environmental security challenges, water and food security challenges and vulnerabilities, vulnerability mapping of environmental security challenges and risks, contributions of remote sensing to the recognition of security risks, mainstreaming early warning of conflicts and hazards and provides conceptual and policy conclusions.
In this age of climatic and financial uncertainty, it becomes increasingly important to balance the cost, benefits and risk of wildfire management. In the United States, increased wildland fire activity over the last 15 years has resulted in drastic damage and loss of life. An associated rapid increase in fire management costs has consumed higher portions of budgets of public entities involved in wildfire management, challenging their ability to fulfill other responsibilities. Increased public scrutiny highlights the need to improve wildland fire management for cost effectiveness. This book closely examines the development of basic wildfire suppression cost models for the United States and their application to a wide range of settings from informing incident decision making to programmatic review. The book also explores emerging trends in suppression costs and introduces new spatially explicit cost models to account for characteristics of the burned landscape. Finally, it discusses how emerging risk assessment tools can be better informed by integrating management cost models with wildfire simulation models and values at risk. Economics of Wildfire Management is intended for practitioners as a reference guide. Advanced-level students and researchers will also find the book invaluable.
This book examines the long-term fate of invasive species by detailing examples of invaders from different zoological and botanical taxa from various places around the world. Readers will discover what happened, after a century or so, to 'classical' invaders like rabbits in Australia, house sparrows in North America, minks in Europe and water hyacinths in Africa and Asia. Chapters presented in the book focus on eighteen species in the form of in-depth case studies including: earthworms, zebra mussels, Canadian water weed, Himalayan balsam, house sparrows, rabbits, crayfish plague, Colorado beetles, water hyacinths, starlings, Argentine ant, Dutch elm disease, American mink, cane toad, raccoons, Canadian beavers, African killer bees and warty comb jelly. Invaded areas described are in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, Pacific islands, and South America. Readers will get some ideas about the likely future of current invaders from the fate of old ones. This book is intended for undergraduates studying environmental sciences, researchers and members of environmental NGO's.
This edited volume presents a comprehensive and coherent interdisciplinary analysis of challenges and possibilities for sustainable governance of the Baltic Sea ecosystem by combining knowledge and approaches from natural and social sciences. Focusing on the Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM) and associated multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor challenges, the book provides up-to-date descriptions and analyses of environmental governance structures and processes at the macro-regional Baltic Sea level. Organised in two parts, Part 1 presents in-depth case studies of environmental governance practices and challenges linked to five key environmental problems - eutrophication, chemical pollution, overfishing, oil discharges and invasive species. Part 2 analyses and compares governance challenges and opportunities across the five case studies, focusing on governance structures and EAM implementation, knowledge integration and science support, as well as stakeholder communication and participation. Based on these cross-case comparisons, this book also draws a set of general conclusions on possible ways of improving the governance of the Baltic Sea by promoting what are identified as vital functions of environmental governance: coordination, integration, interdisciplinarity, precaution, deliberation, communication and adaptability.
Beginning with an overview of data and concepts developed in the EU-project HABIT-CHANGE, this book addresses the need for sharing knowledge and experience in the field of biodiversity conservation and climate change. There is an urgent need to build capacity in protected areas to monitor, assess, manage and report the effects of climate change and their interaction with other pressures. The contributors identify barriers to the adaptation of conservation management, such as the mismatch between planning reality and the decision context at site level. Short and vivid descriptions of case studies, drawn from investigation areas all over Central and Eastern Europe, illustrate both the local impacts of climate change and their consequences for future management. These focus on ecosystems most vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions, including alpine areas, wetlands, forests, lowland grasslands and coastal areas. The case studies demonstrate the application of adaptation strategies in protected areas like National Parks, Biosphere Reserves and Natural Parks, and reflect the potential benefits as well as existing obstacles. A general section provides the necessary background information on climate trends and their effects on abiotic and biotic components. Often, the parties to policy change and conservation management, including managers, land users and stakeholders, lack both expertise and incentives to undertake adaptation activities. The authors recognise that achieving the needed changes in behavior – habit – is as much a social learning process as a matter of science-based procedure. They describe the implementation of modeling, impact assessment and monitoring of climate conditions, and show how the results can support efforts to increase stakeholder involvement in local adaptation strategies. The book concludes by pointing out the need for more work to communicate the cross-sectoral nature of biodiversity protection, the value of well-informed planning in the long-term process of adaptation, the definition of acceptable change, and the motivational value of exchanging experience and examples of good practice.
Exploring a topic of vital and ongoing importance, Traditional Forest Knowledge examines the history, current status and trends in the development and application of traditional forest knowledge by local and indigenous communities worldwide. It considers the interplay between traditional beliefs and practices and formal forest science and interrogates the often uneasy relationship between these different knowledge systems. The contents also highlight efforts to conserve and promote traditional forest management practices that balance the environmental, economic and social objectives of forest management. It places these efforts in the context of recent trends towards the devolution of forest management authority in many parts of the world. The book includes regional chapters covering North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Australia-Pacific region. As well as relating the general factors mentioned above to these specific areas, these chapters cover issues of special regional significance, such as the importance of traditional knowledge and practices for food security, economic development and cultural identity. Other chapters examine topics ranging from key policy issues to the significant programs of regional and international organisations, and from research ethics and best practices for scientific study of traditional knowledge to the adaptation of traditional forest knowledge to climate change and globalisation.
Introducing a new pathways approach for understanding and responding to sustainability challenges, this title explores practical ways forward for building pathways to sustainability.
Global Change and the Earth System describes what is known about the Earth system and the impact of changes caused by humans. It considers the consequences of these changes with respect to the stability of the Earth system and the well-being of humankind; as well as exploring future paths towards Earth-system science in support of global sustainability. The results presented here are based on 10 years of research on global change by many of the world's most eminent scholars. This valuable volume achieves a new level of integration and interdisciplinarity in treating global change.

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