known for its cactus-studded deserts and the awe-inspiring Grand
Canyon, Arizona boasts even more natural features that surprise
visitors and continue to amaze longtime residents.
Using C. H. Merriam’s turn-of-the-twentieth-century descriptions
of Arizona’s life zones, Charles Lowe first defined those biotic
communities in his 1964 book Arizona’s Natural Environment.
Now ten experts on Arizona’s natural setting build on that
classic to reflect our increased knowledge of basic physical and
biological processes and the impact of both natural and man-made
disturbances on these environments.
|Natural Environments of Arizona
bridges the gap between coffee-table volumes and scientific literature,
offering a nontechnical, single-volume overview that introduces readers
to a myriad of topics and provides pointers toward deeper reading.
It’s all here: climate, geology, soil and water resources, an
amazing variety of flora and fauna—and of course human impacts on
the state’s fragile ecosystems.
These chapters show the extent to which Arizona’s natural
environments have changed since Lowe first set the stage for their
study. They consider changes in forests and grasslands, the effects of
soil erosion, questions about water quality, and the evolving status of
rivers and wildlife communities. And while the common thread of
environments makes the book a complete introduction to the subject,
each chapter stands alone as an authoritative synopsis of its
Ranging widely over the impacts of drought, floods, and wildfires, this
practical guide clearly shows that nature is more than picturesque
landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife. For anyone with a dog-eared copy
of Lowe, this book will serve as the new standard on the
subject—a valuable tool for resource managers, students, and
general readers alike.
From Desert to Mountains
by Peter F. Ffolliott and Owen K. Davis
University of Arizona Presss,