Only a day's drive south of the U.S.-Mexico border, a tropical deciduous forest opens up a world of exotic trees and birds that most people associate with tropical forests of more southerly latitudes. Like many such forests around the world, this diverse ecosystem is highly threatened, especially by large-scale agricultural interests that are razing it in order to plant grass for cattle. This book introduces the tropical deciduous forest of the Alamos region of Sonora, describing its biodiversity and the current threats to its existence. The book's contributors present the most up-to-date scientific knowledge of this threatened ecosystem. They review the natural history and ecology of its flora and fauna and explore how native peoples use the forest's many resources. Included in the book's coverage is a comprehensive plant list for the R’o Cuchujaqui area that well illustrates the diversity of the forest. Other contributions examine tree species used by Mayo Indians and the numerous varieties of domesticated plants that have been developed over the centuries by the Mayos and other indigenous peoples. Also examined are the diversity and distribution of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds in the region. The Tropical Deciduous Forest of Alamos provides critical information about a globally important biome. It complements other studies of similar forests and allows a better understanding of a diverse but vanishing ecosystem.
This volume in the Greenwood Guides to Biomes of the World series covers the lush, beautiful - and rapidly shrinking - tropical forest biomes. The volume covers the two major tropic forest biomes, tropical rainforests and tropical seasonal forests.
Encompassing tropical and temperate forests, arid lands, and the Gulf of California, northern Mexico is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Representing the collaborative efforts of ecologists in the U.S.
Under threat from natural and human disturbance, tropical dry forests are the most endangered ecosystem in the tropics, yet they rarely receive the scientific or conservation attention they deserve. In a comprehensive overview, Tropical Dry Forests in the Americas: Ecology, Conservation, and Management examines new approaches for data sampling and analysis using remote sensing technology, discusses new ecological and econometric methods, and critically evaluates the socio-economic pressures that these forest are facing at the continental and national levels. The book includes studies from Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil that provide in-depth knowledge about the function, status, and conservation efforts of these endangered forests. It presents key elements of synthesis from standardized work conducted across all sites. This unique contribution provides new light in terms of these forests compared to each other not only from an ecological perspective but also in terms of the pressures that they are facing, and their respective responses. Written by experts from a diversity of fields, this reference brings together the many facets of function, use, heritage, and future potential of these forests. It presents an important and exciting synthesis of many years of work across countries, disciplines, and cultures. By standardizing approaches for data sampling and analysis, the book gives readers comparison information that cannot be found anywhere else given the high level of disparity that exists in the current literature.
The future of our food depends on tiny seeds in orchards and fields the world over. In 1943, one of the first to recognize this fact, the great botanist Nikolay Vavilov, lay dying of starvation in a Soviet prison. But in the years before Stalin jailed him as a scapegoat for the country’s famines, Vavilov had traveled over five continents, collecting hundreds of thousands of seeds in an effort to outline the ancient centers of agricultural diversity and guard against widespread hunger. Now, another remarkable scientist—and vivid storyteller—has retraced his footsteps. In Where Our Food Comes From, Gary Paul Nabhan weaves together Vavilov’s extraordinary story with his own expeditions to Earth’s richest agricultural landscapes and the cultures that tend them. Retracing Vavilov’s path from Mexico and the Colombian Amazon to the glaciers of the Pamirs in Tajikistan, he draws a vibrant portrait of changes that have occurred since Vavilov’s time and why they matter. In his travels, Nabhan shows how climate change, free trade policies, genetic engineering, and loss of traditional knowledge are threatening our food supply. Through discussions with local farmers, visits to local outdoor markets, and comparison of his own observations in eleven countries to those recorded in Vavilov’s journals and photos, Nabhan reveals just how much diversity has already been lost. But he also shows what resilient farmers and scientists in many regions are doing to save the remaining living riches of our world. It is a cruel irony that Vavilov, a man who spent his life working to foster nutrition, ultimately died from lack of it. In telling his story, Where Our Food Comes From brings to life the intricate relationships among culture, politics, the land, and the future of the world’s food.