The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity

The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity

By: Paul A. Johnsgard (author)Hardback

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Where the eastern and western currents of American life merge as smoothly as one river flows into another, we find Nebraska. There we find the Platte, a river that gave sustenance to the countless migrants who once trudged westward along the Mormon and Oregon trails. We find the Sandhills, a vast region of sandy grassland that represents the largest area of dunes and the grandest and least disturbed region of tallgrass prairies in all the Western Hemisphere. And we find the Ogallala aquifer, the largest potential source of unpolluted water anywhere. These ecological treasures are all part of the nature of Nebraska, a state of unhindered vistas of the West, vast stores of pure water and fossil deposits, and endlessly varied flora, fauna, and land formations that speak with breathtaking detail of the past, the present, and the future. And this is the state, natural and Nebraskan, that Paul A. Johnsgard helps us discover-through all its byways of topography, geography, biology, botany, and ecology-in this indispensable book. With characteristic clarity, energy, and charm, Johnsgard guides us through Nebraska's incredible biodiversity, introducing us to each ecosystem and the flora and fauna it sustains and inviting us to contemplate the purpose and secrets of the natural world as we consider our own roles and responsibilities in our connection with it. Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Professor of Biology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His many books include Birds of the Rocky Mountains (Nebraska 1992), Crane Music: A Natural History of American Cranes (Nebraska 1998), This Fragile Land: A Natural History of the Nebraska Sandhills (Nebraska 1995), and Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes (Nebraska 1986).

About Author

Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and winner of several state and national writing awards for his books. He is the author of more than forty books, including Prairie Dog Empire: A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairie, Crane Music: A Natural History of American Cranes, and This Fragile Land: A Natural History of the Nebraska Sandhills, all available from the University of Nebraska Press.


Contents - List of Illustrations; List of Maps; List of Tables; Preface; Acknowledgments; Part One. Nebraska and Its Place in the Great Plains; Chapter 1. The Geology and Landforms of Nebraska - A Legacy of Wind, Water, and Ice; Chapter 2. An Entangled Bank - Nebraska's Biomes, Natural Communities, and Ecoregions; Part Two. Nebraska's Ecological Regions and Biological Communities; Chapter 3. Ponderosa Pines and Rimrock - The Western Escarpments and Their Coniferous Forests; Chapter 4. In the Shadow of the Badlands - The High Plains and Shortgrass Prairies; Chapter 5. Borne on the Wind - The Loess Hills and Mixed-Grass Prairies; Chapter 6. An Ocean of Sand - The Nebraska Sandhills and Sandsage Prairies; Chapter 7. Valley of Dreams - The Niobrara Valley and Its Transitional Forest; Chapter 8. Braided Streams and Sandy Shores - The Platte Valley and Its Riparian Forest; Chapter 9. Ghosts of Prairies Past - The Eastern Glaciated Plains and Tallgrass Prairies; Chapter 10. The Forests of Home - The Missouri Valley and the Eastern Deciduous Forest; Chapter 11. A Wetness on the Land - Rivers, Lakes, Marshes, and Other Wetlands; Chapter 12. Sad Stories and Short Visions - Vanishing Habitats and Changing Times; Part Three. Appendixes; Appendix 1. Checklists of Nebraska's Flora and Fauna; 1. Vertebrates; Mammals; Birds; Amphibians and Reptiles; Native Fishes; 2. Representative Invertebrates; Tiger Beetles; Carrion Beetles; Common Scarab Beetles; Grasshoppers, Mantids, and Walking-sticks; Butterflies; Selected Moth Families; Dragonflies and Damselflies; Freshwater Mussels; 3. Common Vascular Plants; Native Trees; Common Shrubs and Woody Vines; Common Terrestrial Forbs; Common Prairie and Range Grasses and Sedges; Common Shoreline and Aquatic Plants; Appendix 2. A Guide to Nebraska's Natural Areas and Preserves; The Far Western Region; The West-Central Region; The East-Central Region; The Eastern Region; Appendix 3; Index to Selected Nebraska State Museum Notes; Index to Nebraskaland Notes on Nebraska's Flora and Fauna; Glossary; References; Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780803225961
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 402
  • ID: 9780803225961
  • weight: 936
  • ISBN10: 0803225962

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