North American Deserts

Ecology of Our Arid Lands

978-1-64843-221-7 Paperback (with Flaps)
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
392 pp. 194 color, 5 b&w photos. 6 maps. 6 tables. Appendix. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 01/06/2025
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Deserts cover about one third of the earth’s surface and are the largest terrestrial ecosystem in the world. They are the only biome that is actually expanding, largely due to human activities and climate change. In the United States, six unique desert ecosystems stretch across the country: the Great Basin, Mojave, Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Peninsular, and the Painted Desert.

Both a travelogue and science writing, North American Deserts: Ecology of Our Arid Lands is a celebration of these ruthlessly beautiful landscapes. Readers will be transported from the enchanting saguaro forests of Arizona and the precipitous red walls of the Grand Canyon to the monotonous, yet impressive landscapes of Nevada’s Great Basin and Texas’ Chihuahuan Desert. More than 190 vivid, color photographs accompany the lively writing.

Biologist Sean P. Graham has extensive field experience in the deserts of the Southwest and Mexico, and in North American Deserts, he takes readers on a journey through both sides of the border. The first half of the book focuses on global climate patterns giving rise to desert regions, and it then delves into how plants and animals survive the physical and biological characteristics of these ecosystems. The second half, which is split into cold and warm regions, features portraits of each desert that explore the unique flora and fauna. Although the work is focused on deserts in the United States, it also surveys the semiarid landscapes that extend into Canada and Mexico.

Outdoor enthusiasts, national park visitors, and self-proclaimed “desert rats” will enjoy this reflective yet informative account of our North American deserts.

W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press