Grasslands of the World: Diversity, Management and Conservation

Document Type: Research Note

Author

Hydraulic and Water Resources Management Department

Abstract

Features provide a comprehensive global overview of extent and diversity of grasslands. Analyzes how humans shaped grasslands through millennia of use and which role they play in present-day agriculture. Quantifies the role of grasslands as biodiversity hotspots as well as the drivers threatening these. Evaluates the ecosystem services grasslands provide e.g. in terms of soil protection and carbon sequestration. Forecasts the probable future of grasslands under various global change scenarios. Summary Grasslands are one of the most extensive vegetation formations worldwide, occurring in any biome from the Arctic to the tropics, from the sea coasts to the alpine zones, and both naturally and due to human land use. This book explores the creation and use of grasslands by humans from the earliest time to the present and examines the impact of recent human interventions and global warming on their productivity, diversity, and survival. The challenges of conserving biodiversity, maintaining livelihoods of land users while protecting the land, and ensuring sustainable use are highlighted. Grasslands are an important land cover and have a world-wide distribution with grass-dominated communities from the equator to the polar tundra, from the sea level to the alpine zone, and occurring both naturally (such as tropical savannas and temperate steppes) and secondary (as in the cultural landscapes of Europe). Grasslands of the world: diversity, management and conservation, edited by Victor Squires, Jürgen Dengler, Haiying Feng and Hua Limin, is a tribute to these important grass-dominated ecosystems. It was written by international teams of grassland experts, who compiled information from more than 90 countries, in the form of regional syntheses and case studies.

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