Steppe Ecosystems: Biological Diversity, Management and Restoration

Manuel B. Morales Prieto, PhD and Juan Traba Diaz (Editors)
Departamento de Ecología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Series: Environmental Research Advances
BISAC: SCI026000

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Volume 10

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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Steppe environments impose strong selection pressures on organisms due to limiting climate conditions. Biotic factors also exert important pressures on steppe organisms, which display notable and interesting adaptations. At the same time, steppes are among the most fragile and human-impacted ecosystems of the world. As a result of these ecological and conservation features, steppe ecosystems and organisms have long deserved the attention of ecologists, biogeographers and conservation biologists.

Through the contribution of steppe ecology experts from different regions of the world, this volume aims to answer hot questions in steppe ecology and conservation such as how did present-day steppe ecosystems arise? Is the steppe a perfectly identifiable and homogeneous biome, or are there different types of steppes? If the latter is true, what are the abiotic and biotic factors that define steppe ecosystems? Do they function differently? In short, what is a steppe? Can we identify clearly steppe-specific taxa? Are their functional traits homogeneous across steppe ecosystems? How are their main biodiversity patterns?

However, this book also responds to the current concern about the future of the world’s steppes, threatened by increasing land-use intensification, which brings out the need for their sustainable management on the basis of adequate scientific knowledge. Therefore, the chapters comprising this book not only diffuse current scientific knowledge on steppe ecosystems, which is not a minor aim, but provide cues and tools to evaluate their state and to scientifically inform and help their management. Let us hope these messages reach the adequate ears. (Imprint: Nova)

Preface pp.i-xi

Chapter 1 - Steppes across the World: An Overview with Emphasis on the Iberian Peninsula
(Helios Sainz Ollero, Botany Unit, Department of Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)pp.1-26

Patterns and Processes in Steppe Ecosystems pp.27-28

Chapter 2 - Factors Determining Species Richness and Composition of Steppe Bird Communities in Peninsular Spain: Grass-Steppe vs. Shrub-Steppe Bird Species
(Juan Traba, Pablo Sastre and Manuel Borja Morales, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, and others)pp.29-46

Chapter 3 - Species Richness and Niche Differentiation of Darkling Beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in Mongolian Steppe Ecosystems
(Omid Paknia, Michael Grundler and Martin Pfeiffer, Institute of Animal Ecology and Cell Biology (ITZ), Hannover, Germany, and others)pp.47-72

Chapter 4 - Diversity Patterns in the Steppe of Argentinean Southern Patagonia: Environmental Drivers and Impact of Grazing
(Pablo Luis Peri, María Vanessa Lencinas, Guillermo Martínez Pastur, Grant W. Wardell-Johnson and Romina Lasagno, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral (UNPA)-CONICET, Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina, and others)pp.73-96

Chapter 5 - The Vegetation Structure of the Mongolian Altai Mountain Steppes
(Galina. N. Ogureeva, Inessa M. Mikljaeva and Maxim V. Bocharnikov, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia)
pp.97-110

Chapter 6 - Resilience or Vulnerability? Vegetation Patterns of a Central Tibetan Pastoral Ecotone
(Georg Miehe, Sabine Miehe, Kerstin Bach, Karsten Wesche, Elke Seeber, Lena Behrendes, Knut Kaiser, Christoph Reudenbach, Jasmin Nölling, Jan Hanspach, Mark Herrmann, Ma Yaoming and Volker Mosbrugger, Faculty of Geography, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany, and others)pp.111-152

Chapter 7 - Estimation of Carbon Dioxide Exchange of Cascade Geochemically Conjugated Steppe Ecosystems in Salinity Condition
(Aleksei Naumov and Elena Smolentseva, Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia)pp.153-164

Chapter 8 - The Late Quaternary Paleoecology and Environmental History of Hortobágy, a Unique Mosaic Alkaline Steppe from the Heart of the Carpathian Basin
(Pál Sümegi, Gábor Szilágyi, Sándor Gulyás, Gusztáv Jakab and Attila Molnár, University of Szeged, Department of Geology and Paleontology, Szeged, Hungary, and others)pp.165-194
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Conservation and Management of Steppe Ecosystems pp.195-196

Chapter 9 - The Conservation of High-Interest Plant Species Offers the Chance to Preserve Unique and Vulnerable Representatives of Gypsum Steppes
(Màrcia Eugenio, Carlos Molina and Gonzalo Montamarta, Área de Botánica, EU de Ingenierías Agrarias de Soria, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain, and others)pp.197-210

Chapter 10 - The Cover of Steppe Vascular Plants by the Protected Area Network of the Republic of Mordovia (Russia)
(Anatoliy A. Khapugin and Tatyana B. Silaeva, Mordovian State University, Saransk, Republic of Mordovia, Russia and others)pp.211-220

Chapter 11 - Recovery of Degraded Steppe Soils of Northern China after Grazing Exclusion
(Martin Wiesmeier, Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde, Technische Universität München, Germany)pp.221-252

Chapter 12 - Effects of Ungulate Grazing on Soil Microbial Diversities in Inner Mongolian Steppes of Northern China
(Xiaoqi Zhou and Yanfen Wang, College of Life Sciences, Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China and others)
pp.253-286

Chapter 13 - The Pseudo-Steppe of La Crau (Southeastern France): Origin, Management and Restoration of a Mediterranean Rangeland
(Thierry Dutoit, Elise Buisson, Sylvain Fadda, Frédéric Henry, Clémentine Coiffait-Gombault, Renaud Jaunatre, Jean-François Alignan, Solène Masson and Adeline Bulot, Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology, UMR CNRS-IRD IMBE, Université d’Avignon, France)pp.287-302

Chapter 14 - Critical Review of the Algerian Experience to Manage The Land Degradation
(Aziz Hirche, Mostefa Salamani, Boughani Abdelmadjid, Dalila Nedjraoui, Ratiba Hourizi and Youcef Oukil, Laboratory of Vegetal Ecology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene, Algiers, Algeria, and others)pp.303-320

Chapter 15 - Sustainable Development in the Caldenal (Argentina)
(Hugo Laborde, Osvaldo A. Fernández, María N. Fioretti, Sandra S. Baioni and Roberto E. Brevedan, Departamento de Agronomía, Universidad Nacional del Sur (UNS), Argentina, and others)pp.321-334

Index pp.335-347

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