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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.
Encyclopedia of Ecology, Second Edition continues the acclaimed work of the previous edition published in 2008. It covers all scales of biological organization, from organisms, to populations, to communities and ecosystems. Laboratory, field, simulation modelling, and theoretical approaches are presented to show how living systems sustain structure and function in space and time. New areas of focus include micro- and macro scales, molecular and genetic ecology, and global ecology (e.g., climate change, earth transformations, ecosystem services, and the food-water-energy nexus) are included. In addition, new, international experts in ecology contribute on a variety of topics. Offers the most broad-ranging and comprehensive resource available in the field of ecology Provides foundational content and suggests further reading Incorporates the expertise of over 500 outstanding investigators in the field of ecology, including top young scientists with both research and teaching experience Includes multimedia resources, such as an Interactive Map Viewer and links to a CSDMS (Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System), an open-source platform for modelers to share and link models dealing with earth system processes
The State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture presents the first global assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture worldwide. Biodiversity for food and agriculture is the diversity of plants, animals and micro-organisms at genetic, species and ecosystem levels, present in and around crop, livestock, forest and aquatic production systems. It is essential to the structure, functions and processes of these systems, to livelihoods and food security, and to the supply of a wide range of ecosystem services. It has been managed or influenced by farmers, livestock keepers, forest dwellers, fish farmers and fisherfolk for hundreds of generations. Prepared through a participatory, country-driven process, the report draws on information from 91 country reports to provide a description of the roles and importance of biodiversity for food and agriculture, the drivers of change affecting it and its current status and trends. It describes the state of efforts to promote the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture, including through the development of supporting policies, legal frameworks, institutions and capacities. It concludes with a discussion of needs and challenges in the future management of biodiversity for food and agriculture. The report complements other global assessments prepared under the auspices of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which have focused on the state of genetic resources within particular sectors of food and agriculture.
Although the unique flora of the Socotra Archipelago with its high degree of endemism has received much attention recently, little information is available on the vegetation and related ecological aspects. Based on their extensive field experience of the region, the authors have assimilated a vast amount of knowledge to produce this book, which gives a detailed insight into the plant ecology of Socotra, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008. The book is divided into seven chapters. After a brief introduction and overviews of important abiotic features, various aspects of the vascular flora are presented in Chapter 4, together with accounts of the bryophyte and lichen flora. Ecology and adaptive strategies of the plants are dealt with in Chapter 5, and Chapter 6 gives a concise description of the main vegetation units. Finally, important management issues of the vegetation are discussed, an essential topic to ensure preservation of the natural heritage of the archipelago.
In recent years, development policy has responded to an increasing concern about natural resource degradation by setting up innovative payment for environmental services (PES) programs in developing countries. PES programs use market and institutional incentives in order to meet both environmental and poverty alleviation objectives. However, their optimal design, implications for the rural poor, and how these initiatives integrate into international treaties on global warming and biodiversity loss are still being discussed. This book addresses these issues by scrutinizing analytical tools, providing policy insights and stimulating debate on linkages between poverty alleviation and environmental protection. In particular, it turns attention towards the role of environmental services in agricultural landscapes as they provide a living for many poor in developing countries. It serves as a valuable reference for academics and students in various disciplines, as well as for policy makers and advisors. This book is a co-publication between Springer and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
This volume comprises eighteen papers dealing with the theory and application of modern decision-making and management planning of multiple use of forestry and other natural resources in the landscape. Generally, an economic approach is used as implemented by operations research methods, but broader contexts are applied too, e.g. ecosystem management, discounting, preference analysis and policy formulation. The volume is aimed at researchers, students and practitioners in management of forestry and other natural resources.
Desertification has occurred worldwide. The biophysical and socio-economic complexity of this phenomenon has challenged our ability to categorize, inventory, monitor and repair the condition of degraded lands. One of the most important distinctions to be made in relation to land degradation is between cultivated land used for annual crop production and `rangelands'. Grazing by free-roaming livestock is the traditional primary use of the world's rangelands. However, there is growing recognition of the importance of these vast acreages for wildlife habitat, hydrology and ground water recharge, recreation and aesthetics. This text focuses on the desertification of rangelands and explores processes, problems and solutions. Chapters in the first section evaluate interactions between `natural' and human-induced disturbance regimes, thresholds, and non-linear change with respect to vegetation, hydrology, nutrients and erosion. Chapters in the second section examine socio-economic constraints and approaches for preventing and reversing degradation. The book provides a contemporary, process-oriented perspective on rangeland degradation of value to students, policy-makers and professionals alike.

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