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Title: Biodiversity, functional processes, and the ecological consequences of fragmentation in Southwestern grasslands

Author: Merola-Zwartjes, Michele;

Date: 2004

Source: In: Finch, Deborah M., Editor. 2004. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States. Volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-135-vol. 1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 49-85

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Concern over accelerating extinction rates and loss of species diversity on a global scale was the subject of E.O. Wilson's seminal volume Biodiversity (Wilson 1988). This work essentially transformed the term "biodiversity" into a household word as a short-hand for species diversity--or more simply, the full array and variety of living organisms on Earth. But the term biodiversity means much more than the complement of plant and animal species that one expects to find in some given area. The term now encompasses not only the diversity of species, but their genetic structure, the interaction of the biotic and abiotic components of the environment at the ecosystem level, and at an even higher level the array of communities and ecosystem processes and functions that make up the landscape or regional level of biological diversity. Such a detailed exploration of biodiversity is beyond the scope of this section.

Keywords: grasslands, ecological assessment, Southwestern United States, ecosystem conditions, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma

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Merola-Zwartjes, Michele 2004. Biodiversity, functional processes, and the ecological consequences of fragmentation in Southwestern grasslands. In: Finch, Deborah M., Editor. 2004. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States. Volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-135-vol. 1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 49-85

 


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