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Sonoran Desert Plants: An Ecological Atlas Paperback – August 1, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A goldmine of information that represents more than three decades of careful compilation." —Economic Botany"Marvellous introductions to the ecology of each species. . . . A must-have for the serious naturalist and field ecologist working in the Sonoran." —Tree"A most remarkable mine of information." —Cactus and Succulent Journal"The new reference list alone is probably reason enough for any plant ecologist who has worked in the southwestern deserts to rush out and get this book." —Plant Science Bulletin"To anyone interested in Sonoran Desert flora, this book is probably the best and most current reference." —Academic Library Book Review“It’s a welcome whiff of mission in an otherwise technical manual-and the call-out to citizen scientists is more relevant now than ever.” —High Country News

From the Inside Flap

The Sonoran Desert, a fragile ecosystem, is under ever-increasing pressure from a burgeoning human population. This ecological atlas of the region's plants, a greatly enlarged and full revised version of the original 1972 atlas, will be an invaluable resource for plant ecologists, botanists, geographers, and other scientists, and for all with a serious interest in living with and protecting a unique natural southwestern heritage. An encyclopedia as well as an atlas, this monumental work describes the taxonomy, geographic distribution, and ecology of 339 plants, most of them common and characteristic trees, shrubs, or succulants. Also included is valuable information on natural history and ethnobotanical, commercial, and horticultural uses of these plants. The entry for each species includes a range map, an elevational profile, and a narrative account. The authors also include an extensive bibliography, referring the reader to the latest research and numerous references of historical importance, with a glossary to aid the general reader. "Sonoran Desert Plants" is a monumental work, unlikely to be superseded in the next generation. As the region continues to attract more people, there will be an increasingly urgent need for basic knowledge of plant species as a guide for creative and sustainable habitation of the area. This book will stand as a landmark resource for many years to come.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 501 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816525196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816525195
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,094,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Co-authored by plant ecologists Raymond Turner and Tony Burgess along with botanist Janice Bowers, Sonoran Desert Plants: An Ecological Atlas is an enlarged and thoroughly revised edition of the original 1972 atlas. Packed cover to cover with figures, distribution maps, black-and-white photographs, and detailed information concerning the taxonomy and ecology of 339 plants, Sonoran Desert Plants is a superb in-depth manual especially recommended for ecologists studying the Sonoran desert area. A glossary, index, and impressively extensive compendium of cited literature round out this specialist's resource.
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I was highly disppointed with the content of the book. It may be a very complete and usable book from a scientific stantpoint, however as a book for the "amateur" botanist to use to study and identify Sonoran plants it is much too scientific. The use of listing by genus and species definitely marks it as an educational book not a book for use by the general public. The lack of colored pictures of the plants is also unfortunate. I think the online discription of the content of the book makes it very hard to ascertain the actual purpose of the text. It would be informative if it was somehow noted that this book is not a "field guide".
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