Savannas form one of the largest and most important of the world's ecological zones. Covering one fifth of the Earth's land surface, they are home to some of the world's most iconic animals and form an extremely important global resource for plants and wildlife. However, increasing recognition of their land potential means that they are extremely vulnerable to accelerating pressures on usable land.
This Very Short Introduction considers savannas as landscapes. Discussing their origin, topography, and global distribution, Peter A. Furley explores the dynamic nature of savannas and illustrates how they have shaped human evolution and movements. He goes on to discuss the unrelenting pressures that confront conservation and management and considers the future for savannas.
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Peter A. Furley is a Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Previously, he has taught Tropical Biogeography and Ecology in Brazil, Zimbabwe, China, and Belize. He is the author or co-author of 150 published articles and 12 books, including The Forest Frontier: Settlement and Change in Brazilian Roraima (Routledge, 1994).