Prairie: A Natural History

Front Cover
Greystone Books, Apr 12, 2006 - Nature - 308 pages
Over 2 million square miles of North America is covered in prairie, comprising the largest ecosystem on the continent. The prairies are the heartland of the continent, a vast, windswept plain that flows from Alberta south to Texas and from the Rockies east to the Mississippi River. This is big sky country, and until recently, one of the richest and most magnificent natural grasslands in the world. Today, however, the North American prairies are among the most altered environments on Earth. Thorough, detailed, and scientifically up-to-date, Prairie: A Natural History provides a comprehensive, nontechnical guide to the biology and ecology of this fabled environment, offering a view of the past, a vision for the future, and a clear focus on the present. Sidebars throughout highlight various grasslands species, tell fascinating natural history and conservation stories, and present the traditional Native American view of the prairie and its inhabitants.

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Prairie : A Natural History

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"There are people who think of the prairie as boring, and it is hard not to pity them." Bergen's forthright and fetching celebration of America's grasslands sometimes feels almost as personal as it is ... Read full review

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This is a beautiful book with meticulous science. The illustrations and poetic writing style saves it from dusty boredom of those readers who do not share my passion for the good science. To read this book is to understand just what life is about and the interplay and interdependencies between all life forms and even the inorganic life of the planet. It leads the way to an understanding of a destiny of flourishing if we will just see it.
I would make it required reading for all, not just science majors, college students.
As a personal side note, I was gratified to learn that the bison of the ages now are gathered inside Mount Scott .Our family for years picnicked at its base along Medicine Creek which flowed from it. I realize it is amazing to find even this one person who always expects to see bison on the prairie. Now I know why.

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