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Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United Statesby Bruce A Stein
Synopses & Reviews
From the lush forests of Appalachia to the frozen tundra of Alaska, and from the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest to the subtropical rainforests of Hawaii, the United States harbors a remarkable array of ecosystems. These ecosystems in turn sustain an exceptional variety of plant and animal life. For species such as salamanders and freshwater turtles, the United States ranks as the global center of diversity. Among the nation's other unique biological features are California's coast redwoods, the world's tallest trees, and Nevada's Devils Hole pupfish, which survives in a single ten-by-seventy-foot desert pool, the smallest range of any vertebrate animal.
Precious Heritage draws together for the first time a quarter century of information on U.S. biodiversity developed by natural heritage programs from across the country. This richly illustrated volume not only documents those aspects of U.S. biodiversity that are particularly noteworthy, but also considers how our species and ecosystems are faring, what is threatening them, and what is needed to protect the nation's remaining natural inheritance. Above all, Precious Heritage is a celebration of the extraordinary biological diversity of the United States.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Edward O. Wilson
1. Biodiversity: Our Precious Heritage, Jonathan S. Adams, Bruce A. Stein, and Lynn S. Kutner
2. Discovering Life in America: Tools and Techniques of Biodiversity Inventory, Bruce A. Stein and Frank W. Davis
3. A Remarkable Array: Species Diversity in the United States, Bruce A. Stein et al.
4. Conservation Status of U.S. Species, Lawrence L. Master et al.
5. State of the States: Geographic Patterns of Diversity, Rarity, and Endemism, Bruce A. Stein et al.
6. The Geography of Imperilment: Targeting Conservation towards Critical Biodiversity Areas, Stephen J. Chaplin et al.
7. More than the Sum of the Parts: Diversity and Status of Ecological Systems, Mark T. Bryer et al.
8. Leading Threats to U.S. Biodiversity: What's Threatening Imperiled Species, David S. Wilcove et al.
9. Strategies for Biodiversity Protection, Michael J. Bean
10. Owning Up to Our Responsibilities: Who Owns Lands Important for Biodiversity?, Craig R. Groves et al.
11. Safeguarding Our Precious Heritage, Mark L. Shaffer and Bruce A. Stein
Appendix A: Extinct and missing species of the United States
Appendix B: State Diversity, Endemism, and Rarity
Appendix C: Küchler Potential Natural Vegetation Types
Appendix D: Principal Sources for the Natural Heritage Central Databases
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