Over 2 million square miles of North America is covered in prairie, comprising the largest ecosystem on the continent. The prairies are the heartland of the continent, a vast, windswept plain that flows from Alberta south to Texas and from the Rockies east to the Mississippi River. This is big sky country, and until recently, one of the richest and most magnificent naturalOver 2 million square miles of North America is covered in prairie, comprising the largest ecosystem on the continent. The prairies are the heartland of the continent, a vast, windswept plain that flows from Alberta south to Texas and from the Rockies east to the Mississippi River. This is big sky country, and until recently, one of the richest and most magnificent natural grasslands in the world. Today, however, the North American prairies are among the most altered environments on Earth. Thorough, detailed, and scientifically up-to-date, Prairie: A Natural History provides a comprehensive, nontechnical guide to the biology and ecology of this fabled environment, offering a view of the past, a vision for the future, and a clear focus on the present. Sidebars throughout highlight various grasslands species, tell fascinating natural history and conservation stories, and present the traditional Native American view of the prairie and its inhabitants....
|Title||:||Prairie: A Natural History|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Prairie: A Natural History Reviews
The book starts off with geography, describing where and what the prairie is and how its many various designations differ across an area that is truly immense. Savage then continues with geology, and she is again thorough, bringing us current all the way from its early formation millions of years ago. Following this comprehensive opening, it is then a careful review of the prairie’s soil, vegetation and animals – big stuff and small (and some infinitesimally tiny) – along with pieces on ranching and farming with its effects on the land, both positive and negative. It concludes with an assessment, and an attempt at general prediction, of the prairie’s future. It’s an absolutely beautiful book, full of stunning photos, illustrations and maps (if you have this as an ebook, go and get yourself a paper copy as I did). Throughout the book there are plentiful sidebars and shorter pieces on particularly interesting facets of life on the prairie. It is excellent.
I've had this book on my "am reading" shelf for a while, because I've read it more than once this year; the first time for my own pleasure, and then again as a supporting text book for my course "Ecology Through the Writer's Lens". Savage provides a great introduction to the grasslands of North America, a spectacular and often under-appreciated ecosystem. I would judge the writing very accessible for the non-scientist, but then again, I'm an ecologist so what I judge as accessible may not be so to other eyes. This worked well as a textbook for my non-majors course on prairie ecology. However, general principles tend to get lost in the numerous stories of individual species, both plants and animals. To compensate for this, I gave my students study questions to help guide and synthesize their reading. Recommended for all fans of natural history. A wonderful tribute to the vast history and compelling diversity of North American prairies.
Although she basically ignored the existance of eastern tall grass prairie (yeah yeah we are transitional oak savannahs yaddah yaddah yaddah) this was a very informative well written natural history with really excellent photography mixed in.
In one word: Beautiful. Subject, writing, layout, photographs... the prairie itself. I have always loved the big skies and wide open spaces. And Savage's book makes me love home even more.
If there is only one book you want to read and/or own about the North American prairie, this is it. I own many other books about the prairie grasslands: Costello, Jones/Cushman, Brown, several by Weaver, etc. I consider this the ideal one in terms of photography, rigorous yet accessible information, thoroughness and passion for the natural history of the region. My only complaint - it's mildly Canada-centric. It lacks information about Mexican grasslands (these could be considered Chihuahuan desert, but there are prairie dogs and a black-footed ferret recovery site there - Janos). Also in the final chapter there is no mention of the role of Charles Goodnight and other ranchers on the Southern Plains in bison conservation. However, the photography is gorgeous and it covers all the basics - geology, soils, climate, paleontology, biology, environmental history, zoology, it's there. If you are a fan of or live in or on the margins of the Great Plains and you want be to ecoliterate about this bio-region, start here.
Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written.
A really beautiful book: photographs, drawings, layout. And some great words. Alas, the future looks a bit bleak for the Great Plains.
Tons of information about the history and current state of prairie in the United States. Excellent photography throughout.
Beautifully written natural hisotry of the prairies. It makes clear why it is so important to preserve the remaining grasslands from exploitation.