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Open Ecosystemsecology and evolution beyond the forest edge$
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William J. Bond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812456.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

Introduction to open ecosystems: a global anomaly and a local example

Introduction to open ecosystems: a global anomaly and a local example

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction to open ecosystems: a global anomaly and a local example
Open Ecosystems

William J. Bond

Oxford University Press

This book is about the light side of ecology, the non-forested open ecosystems of the world. More than a quarter of the world’s land area is dominated by open, non-forested ecosystems in climates which can support closed forests. They are particularly common in the tropics, making up grasslands and savannas, but also occur in other climate zones. Open ecosystems have been widely attributed to human deforestation. While deforestation is widespread and increasing in many regions, open ecosystems include ancient vegetation, in species, with traits divergent from closed forests. Using Cape fynbos, the world’s richest temperate flora, as an example, the ideas and explanations for these anomalously low biomass systems are introduced. The aim of this book is explained as introducing a wider readership to the still poorly known biology of open ecosystems on the light side. The structure and content of chapters is outlined.

Keywords:   convergent evolution, fynbos, Mediterranean-type ecosystems, shrublands, temperate forests

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