With its active fault systems, complex landforms, and myriad natural habitats, southern California boasts a rich and dynamic geologic environment. This abundantly illustrated volume at last provides an up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible resource for students and general readers interested in southern California's geology and native plants. Covering an extensive area, north from San Diego to Yosemite in the Sierra Nevada and east to the Mojave and Colorado deserts, its unique, comprehensive approach brings together for the first time the basic principles of geology, the story of plate tectonics, in-depth discussion of the geology of many specific locales within the region, and information on identifying southern California's native plants.
"The unique plant and biological communities in California make it a marvel on world scale, and a continuing source of interest and delight. This fine revised volume provides an introduction that should allow all Californians to understand better the special features of the place where they live. Packed with new information, this revised guide will delight both the well informed and the novice."--Peter Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden
This volume is an exploration of the soil in the state of California, discussing how soil ecosystems function, what lives in the soil, and an examination of various soil types -- featuring 92 color photographs and 18 maps. The author describes the relationship between humans and the land, and investigates the various uses and abuses that land in California endures -- large scale agriculture, mining, and development, as well as fires, floods, and erosion. The guide also details the history of land use in the state. Among many topics, the author has included information on: California's wildlands, farmland, cities, and landfills; California's ecological footprint on planet Earth; and the many different life forms found in soil, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and mammals.
With perhaps 8,000 different species, beetles are easily the largest group of animals in California and can be found virtually everywhere in the state. They grapple over flower heads, lurk in pantries, paddle through pristine mountain streams, amble over dunes, and buzz about porch lights on warm evenings. But until now, there was no single resource for identifying the most commonly encountered beetles in California’s mountains, valleys, and deserts. This valuable field guide, a companion volume to Introduction to California Beetles published in 2004, identifies more than 500 of the state’s more conspicuous and colorful species, with the majority presented in stunning color photographs. Written and designed for amateur naturalists, students, and field biologists, it is chock-full of what every beetle watcher wants to know, including suggestions for finding beetles, starting a beetle collection, and keeping beetles in captivity. The informative, accessibly written species accounts include information on beetle identification, natural history, and distribution. * Features 300 color photographs, 110 drawings, and 2 maps * Covers 569 species in 56 families * Lists California’s sensitive, threatened, and endangered species * Provides resources and web sites for further study of California beetles
The characteristic look of California Chaparral—a soft bluish-green blanket of vegetation gently covering the hills—is known to millions who have seen it as the backdrop in movies and television productions. This complex ecological community of plants and animals is not just a feature of the hills around Hollywood, but is a quintessential part of the entire California landscape. It is a highly resilient community adapted to life with recurring fires and droughts. Written for a wide audience, this concise, engaging, and beautifully illustrated book describes an ancient and exquisitely balanced environment home to wondrous organisms: Fire Beetles that mate only on burning branches, lizards that shoot blood from their eyes when threatened, Kangaroo Rats that never drink water, and seeds that germinate only after a fire, even if that means waiting in the soil for a 100 years or more. Useful both as a field guide and an introductory overview of the ecology of chaparral, it also provides a better understanding of how we might live in harmony, safety, and appreciation of this unique ecological community. * Identifies chaparral’s common plants, animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects * Features 79 color illustrations, 56 black-and-white photographs, and 3 maps * Examines the role of humans and fire in chaparral, covering the placement and design of homes, landscaping, and public policy
An introduction to California's botanical diversity showcases the splendid abundance of California's native plants in their natural settings, looking at more than one hundred unique sites throughout the state, along with their distinctive ecology and rare and common flora. Original.
Muir, John 1838-1914 / Travel / Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nevada)
What is that creature that just landed on my arm? What will that funny-looking caterpillar turn into? What do lady-bugs eat? This book will help you to answer such questions (and many more) about your local insects. - From inside cover.
Oak apples, honeydew and ambrosia galls, witches' brooms, and fasciations--all are types of plant galls, a commonly observed, yet little-understood botanical phenomenon. Often beautiful and bizarre, galls are growths of various shapes, sizes, and colors produced by host plants in response to invading organisms. This guide, a trove of natural history lore, explores this hidden realm, taking a fascinating look at the world of plant galls, the organisms that initiate them, their host plants, and their intricate behaviors. Focusing on native trees and shrubs, but also discussing several galls that occur on herbaceous and ornamental plants, it illuminates the complex interrelationship between botany and entomology and magnifies our awareness of plant communities in the West. Identifies more than 300 species of galls--95 on oaks, 22 on members of the rose family, 60 desert species, and 35 species that are new to science Describes plant galls from coastal dunes, the high Sierra, the Great Basin, forests throughout the western states, and the Mojave and Sonoran deserts Includes information on host selection, growth and development, predator and parasite defense, and animal and human uses of galls Oak apples, honeydew and ambrosia galls, witches' brooms, and fasciations--all are types of plant galls, a commonly observed, yet little-understood botanical phenomenon. Often beautiful and bizarre, galls are growths of various shapes, sizes, and colors produced by host plants in response to invading organisms. This guide, a trove of natural history lore, explores this hidden realm, taking a fascinating look at the world of plant galls, the organisms that initiate them, their host plants, and their intricate behaviors. Focusing on native trees and shrubs, but also discussing several galls that occur on herbaceous and ornamental plants, it illuminates the complex interrelationship between botany and entomology and magnifies our awareness of plant communities in the West. Identifies more than 300 species of galls--95 on oaks, 22 on members of the rose family, 60 desert species, and 35 species that are new to science Describes plant galls from coastal dunes, the high Sierra, the Great Basin, forests throughout the western states, and the Mojave and Sonoran deserts Includes information on host selection, growth and development, predator and parasite defense, and animal and human uses of galls
Flora, Vegetation, Geology, Soils, and Management Problems
Author: Arthur R. Kruckeberg
Publisher: Univ of California Press
This is the first comprehensive treatment of an important segment of the flora of California: native plants that have varying degrees of fidelity to serpentine rock and soil that make up over 1100 square miles in the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada. Many of California's unique endemic plants are found nowhere else but on serpentine; over 200 species, subspecies, and varieties of native plants are restricted to some degree to serpentine. The author describes the geology, soils, and mineral nutrition of serpentines (low in normal essential nutrients, high in magnesium, iron, and toxic heavy metals, nickel, and chromium), the vegetation and flora that tolerate this inhospitable habitat, the fauna on serpentines, and management/conservation problems associated with serpentines. This is an essential guide to an important aspect of the flora of California.
Capturing the vitality of California's unique indigenous cultures, this major new introduction incorporates the extensive research of the past thirty years into an illuminating, comprehensive synthesis for a wide audience. Based in part on new archaeological findings, it tells how the California Indians lived in vibrant polities, each boasting a rich village life including chiefs, religious specialists, master craftspeople, dances, feasts, and ceremonies. Throughout, the book emphasizes how these diverse communities interacted with the state's varied landscape, enhancing its already bountiful natural resources through various practices centered around prescribed burning. A handy reference section, illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, describes the plants, animals, and minerals the California Indians used for food, basketry and cordage, medicine, and more. At a time when we are grappling with the problems of maintaining habitat diversity and sustainable economies, we find that these native peoples and their traditions have much to teach us about the future, as well as the past, of California.
"You can't really know the place where you live until you know the shapes and origins of the land around you. To feel truly at home in the Bay Area, read Doris Sloan's intriguing stories of this region's spectacular, quirky landscapes."--Hal Gilliam, author of Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region "This is a fascinating look at some of the world's most complex and engaging geology. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in an understanding of the beautiful landscape and dynamic geology of the Bay Area."--Mel Erskine, geological consultant "This accessible summary of San Francisco Bay Area geology is particularly timely. We are living in an age where we must deal with our impact on our environment and the impact of the environment on us. Earthquake hazards, and to a lesser extent landslide hazards, are well known, but the public also needs to be aware of other important engineering and environmental impacts and geologic resources. This book will allow Bay Area residents to make more intelligent decisions about the geological issues affecting their lives."--John Wakabayashi, geological consultant