787 Chapters
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Medium 9781603447652

21. Perspectives of Mangrove Ecosystem Management in Cuba

John W Day Texas A&M University Press ePub

Daniel O. Suman

Mangrove ecosystems are a significant—if not a dominant—feature of Cuban coastlines. The Cuban mangrove heritage is among the largest in area of any country in the neotropics. Although the mangrove forests of the island have been pressured by agricultural conversion, loss to urbanization and coastal development, hydrological alteration, and timber extraction, as have mangroves in all American nations, their overall status is relatively good, Cuba has not experienced the drastic loss of mangroves as have other Neotropical nations, such as Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States.

During the past 15 years, Cuban environmental legislation and institutions have undergone a significant restructuring with the incorporation of the principles of sustainable development into the planning and managerial efforts of all official institutions. The new legislation, as well as the centralized planning system, facilitate institutional coordination. Authorities in the various institutions with jurisdiction over mangrove habitats have demonstrated renewed interest in the protection and wise use of these ecosystems via the creation of protected areas, sustainable forestry management plans, and environmental impact assessments for new projects.

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Medium 9780253006820

7. Vulnerability of Soil Carbon Reservoirs in the Midwest to Climate Change

Sara C Pryor Indiana University Press ePub


Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are the main cause of recent global warming (IPCC 2007). The atmospheric CO2 increase depends on its carbon exchange with oceans and the land that absorbs about half of anthropogenic emission into the atmosphere (Broecker et al. 1979). Soil carbon is the largest terrestrial pool, and its trends directly affect atmospheric CO2 level. Each year the earth’s terrestrial land uptakes about 60 Gt carbon through photosynthesis and at the same time it loses a similar amount of carbon by respiration (Schlesinger and Andrews 2000). Both photosynthesis and respiration are highly sensitive to temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables. The net balance between these two large opposite terms is strongly affected by climate change and is difficult to quantify accurately. Although estimates based on different techniques differ, a range of analyses indicate that North American ecosystems are significant carbon sinks and play a disproportionate role in the global carbon budget. Using an inverse modeling technique, Fan et al. (1998) estimated that the continental U.S. net carbon (C) sink in the early 1900s was 0.81 gigatonne-C per year (Gt-C yr−1) (1.7 Gt-C yr−1 for all North America), whereas Schimel et al. (2000) and Potter & Klooster (1999) used biogeochemical models and obtained a value of about 0.2 Gt-C yr−1 over the United States. Forest inventory data have indicated that the North American forest ecosystem sequestration rate is 0.08–0.28 Gt-C yr−1. Pacala et al. (2001) reconciled these somewhat divergent results by suggesting that the conterminous U.S. carbon sink is 0.30–0.58 Gt-C yr−1 (Bachelet et al. 2004). To provide a context for these fluxes it is worth recalling that current anthropogenic CO2 emissions are ~ 9 Gt-C yr−1, about one-third of which is absorbed by terrestrial ecosystems (IPCC 2007).

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Medium 9780253013958

19 Mindful New Materialisms: Buddhist Roots for Material Ecocriticism’s Flourishing

Serenella Iovino Indiana University Press ePub

Greta Gaard

IT IS SATURDAY-MORNING yoga class at the Minneapolis Midtown YWCA. A diverse group of practitioners assembles, varying in ages, genders, classes, races, sexualities, and nationalities, all gathered to practice an hour of mindful yoga. In Pali (the language of the Buddha), “yoga” means “to join” or “to unite,” and its practice involves joining attention to movements involving the body, the breath, the mind, and the larger interconnectedness of all beings. We begin with sun salutation and end in a position familiar to those who have seen the most common depictions of the Buddha, seated in yogic meditation. Joining body ecology with spirit ecology, we bring our attention to the breath, a flow of matter that is exchanged among our many bodies in this enclosed room, and beyond this room as well. Breath is one of the many “flows” that illustrate our interbeing and invite us to embark on a journey of mindfulness wherein the illusion of a separate self is revealed.

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Medium 9781603447652

7. Ecosystem-Based Management in the Laguna Madre, Western Gulf of Mexico

John W Day Texas A&M University Press ePub

Elizabeth H. Smith, Alfonso Banda, John W. Tunnell Jr., and Kim Withers

The unique geomorphic setting of the Laguna Madre ecosystem was first described by Enriquez Barroto when, on 8 March 1867, he sailed into the Río de las Palmas (now Soto La Marina, Tamaulipas). Three days later, he rowed into a water body he named Laguna de Ysmuth and described it as a river that paralleled the coast. He continued to refer to this “river” as he traveled northward along Padre Island, Texas (Bartlett 2002). In actuality, he had documented one of the most distinctive features along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, the hypersaline lagoon system created and protected by Gulf barrier islands. In turn, Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas provides a protective buffer for the mainland as well as productive resources for its people. Human alterations have cumulatively impaired certain ecological functions of this Tamaulipan thornscrub, Gulf coastal plain, and hypersaline estuarine system. In this chapter we describe the physical, chemical, and biological features of the Laguna Madre ecosystem; review alterations applied to the system; and provide recommendations for future conservation and management.

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Medium 9781603449519

5. The Cow: Livestock and White-Tailed Deer Habitat

Timothy E. Fulbright Texas A&M University Press ePub


The Cow: Livestock and White-Tailed Deer Habitat


▼ Cattle grazing can reduce grass cover and increase forbs in productive plant communities dominated by mid- to tall grasses, but whether or not the increase in forbs may result in improved deer nutritional status or productivity is unclear.

▼ Cattle grazing during winter may reduce forage available to deer, even at moderate stocking rates.

▼ As a general rule, rangelands dominated by native vegetation and grazed by domestic livestock should be managed so that livestock consume 25 percent or less of annual production of herbaceous vegetation to avoid degradation of white-tailed deer habitat and to minimize diet overlap between livestock and deer.

▼ Introduction of exotic deer species is a threat to white-tailed deer populations because exotics are highly competitive with white-tailed deer and can potentially displace them.

Livestock Grazing and Deer

Most rangelands are grazed by domestic animals, although in recent years livestock have been removed on some private ranches in Texas. About 20 percent of respondents in a recent survey of landowners and hunting lessees in South Texas said livestock have not grazed their lease or ranch in the past three years (Bryant, Ortega-S., and Synatzske, n.d.). Contrasting viewpoints exist among natural resources managers in regard to cattle grazing and white-tailed deer. Aldo Leopold (1933) espoused the view that cattle can be used as a tool to improve deer habitat, although he cautioned that livestock grazing can also destroy habitat. Another, similar view is that cattle grazing and deer are complementary and grazing the two together is more efficient use of rangeland. A third view is that livestock grazing is simply destructive to wildlife habitat. An overall goal of this chapter is to present what is known from the scientific literature regarding livestock grazing and white-tailed deer and allow readers to follow the chain of evidence to develop, change, or reinforce their own view on the topic. Our interpretation of the relevant literature is that production of livestock and of white-tailed deer are compatible land uses only when numbers of each are properly adjusted based on available forage. We focus on seven aspects of livestock grazing in this chapter: (1) diet overlap between deer and livestock; (2) effects of livestock grazing on plant communities; (3) social interactions between deer and livestock; (4) grazing systems and deer; (5) calculation of correct cattle stocking rates to benefit deer habitat; (6) livestock water developments, such as earthen stock ponds, and fencing; and (7) effects of grazing on predation on deer. The effect of exotic ungulates on white-tailed deer is a topic related to livestock grazing. Continued introduction and increase of exotic deer and other ungulates may negatively impact white-tailed deer populations.

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Medium 9780253000804

7: Cretaceous Dinosaur Pathways in the Paleo-Arctic and along the Western Interior Seaway

Roland A. Gangloff Indiana University Press ePub

The Association of Dinosaur Trackways with Shorelines in Western North America

The record of Cretaceous age dinosaur trackways and their common association with ocean shorelines has been steadily accumulating since the 1940s.1 One of the most impressive and best-known records can be found in central Texas, an area that occupied the southern end of the great Western Interior Seaway. The Early Cretaceous (Albian) age Glen Rose Formation here contains numerous and widespread trackway complexes at several stratigraphic levels. Such widespread trackway complexes are now referred to as “megatracksite complexes.”2 The Glen Rose Formation includes fine examples of megatracksites that crop out over an area of some 38,000 square miles (100,000 square kilometers), including the famous Paluxy River site that was studied by the early dinosaur “tracker” Roland T. Bird, and is now a Texas state park.3

Sauropod and theropod tracks and trackways generally follow along Early Cretaceous marine shorelines. This is a pattern that is typical of Cretaceous-age tracksites.4 The recent documentation of abundant tracks and trackways in Upper Cretaceous rocks of the Kaskapau Formation in northeastern British Columbia is especially relevant to a discussion of paleo-Arctic dinosaurs and their association with ocean shoreline environments. This locality is on Quality Creek near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. It was located above the paleo-Arctic Circle at a high stand of global sea level. Three different coastal environments are recorded in a wedge of nonmarine sedimentary rocks that is part of a marine-dominated offshore formation. The area underwent a change from a strandplain with beach ridges and sandy coals to tidal channels then to a backshore freshwater lake and finally to a brackish lagoon with a complex of deltas. In two of these environments, abundant tracks and trackways are found in localized concentrations characterized as trampled or dinoturbated horizons (see figure 4.14). In contrast with North Slope Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, the Quality Creek dinosaurs have been directly associated with crocodilians, turtles, and oyster shells. It is interesting to note that a dinosaur-trampled oyster bank, or bioherm, was found in the brackish lagoon. This trampled bioherm is a first for British Columbia, as is the discovery of in situ dinosaur bones.5

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Medium 9781574414615


Ron Tatum University of North Texas Press ePub


Shoeing horses is not a pleasant way to make a living, but when the weather is extreme, it is downright miserable. The extremes are heat, cold, and rain. It’s best to stay home when these conditions are severe, but when you have no food in the house, you have to do what you have to do.

Heat, without question, is the most troublesome for me. I’ll choose rain over heat, any day. In fact I will no longer shoe a horse on an extremely hot day unless there is a cool barn or some kind of shelter. I’m from the Northwest and we don’t quite know what to do on hot days. We don’t get a lot of them, so when it gets to be in the high eighties or nineties, everyone just stands around in confusion and complains. Air conditioners have arrived in most business offices and fastfood restaurants, but are seldom found in anyone’s home. I only recently got a truck with an air conditioner.

One hot day in California during my first year of shoeing when I usually took two hours to shoe a horse under normal conditions, I took almost five hours to shoe one horse. I drank a lot of water, but the heat got to me. I’d work for awhile, get dizzy, and go into the hay room and lie down on a bale of hay until the dizziness went away. I turned a hose on my head and upper body every now and then, but that didn’t stop the dizziness. That horse stood out there the whole time in the blazing sun, mostly asleep, and didn’t seem bothered at all by the heat. I probably suffered from heat stroke and didn’t have the sense to recognize it. No one was around to point it out to me.

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Medium 9780253006820

5. Climate-Agriculture Vulnerability Assessment for the Midwestern United States

Sara C Pryor Indiana University Press ePub


The Midwest is a breadbasket for the United States and one of the major contributors of corn and soybean production globally. Current corn yields in the Midwest are around 150 bushels per acre with a total production of about 10 billion bushels, while soybean yields in the Midwest are 45 bushels per acre with production of about 3 billion bushels. Agriculture is a major enterprise requiring investments in terms of water, landscape, energy, and human/economic resources. Projected climate and land use changes can affect the dynamics and availability of soil, water, and land resources leading to food insecurity (Lobell et al. 2008). Thus the water and land required for agricultural production are vital components of the natural resources of the Midwest. Agricultural land comprises 89 percent of the land use in the Midwest, and as documented in chapter 2 of this volume, agriculture continues to play a major role in the economy of the region.

Agriculture is both a source and sink of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Photosynthesis is a significant seasonal sink, while the emissions from the soil surfaces for nitrous oxide and other gases from animal waste and fertilizers are a source term. Agriculture accounted for about 17 percent of the global GHG emissions and 7 percent of the emissions across the United States (Pryor and Takle 2009). Additionally, as documented in several chapters to follow, the agricultural sector is perhaps uniquely sensitive to climate variability and change.

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Medium 9781786390981

10 Impact of Alien Mammals on Human Health

Mazza, G.; Tricarico, E. CABI PDF


Impact of Alien Mammals on

Human Health

Dario Capizzi1*, Andrea Monaco1, Piero Genovesi2,

Riccardo Scalera3 and Lucilla Carnevali2


Region, Environment and Natural Systems, Rome, Italy;

Institute for Environmental Protection and Research,

Rome, Italy and 3IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group,

Rome, Italy



We provide an overview of the impact of wild invasive alien mammals on human health, focusing specifically on species acting as zoonotic hosts or pathogens, along with the diseases and mechanisms of disease transmission associated with mammals in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. We checked for published data on the impact on human health for 129 alien invasive mammals, reported in 123 different countries. The highest number of invasive alien mammals causing impacts on human health is reported in

Japan (31 species), followed by Australia (24) and Argentina, New Zealand and Cuba (19).

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Medium 9780253019523

8 Reclamation and a Vision of the Future

Barbara Kreiger Indiana University Press ePub

The complex and disturbing conflicts that have spread in the Middle East are identified by obvious issues of intransigence and militancy. Like a plague or a recurrent nightmare, hostility rules the land. In the Lower Jordan River Valley, where Israel, the Palestinian people, and the Kingdom of Jordan come together, the dispute has been sadly resistant to solutions for decades, and yet at that very geographical junction there are developments that may alleviate the despair. This is not to minimize intricacies and intractability: the situation is anything but simple, anything but static, and has several dimensions to it, some of which are at odds. Still, the very volatility of the circumstances, as well as the common threat that everyone recognizes, may encourage unparalleled productive responses.

Unlike the solution, the problem is straightforward: There is simply not enough fresh, potable water to sustain the growing populations of the Kingdom of Jordan, Palestine, and Israel; and the strain on Jordan has been magnified in the last few years by the arrival of two million refugees from Syria and Iraq. Aquifers are stressed, the Jordan River system is defunct, and the need keeps growing. The insufficient quantity of fresh water is at issue, but fair proportioning is also a key element. Israel controls the major aquifer that runs under the occupied West Bank, which means that Palestinians are dependent on Israel’s will. The Joint Water Committee, the water sharing mechanism formed under the Oslo Agreement, governs apportionment but is insubstantial. Palestinians do not receive a share commensurate with their needs, even though Israel has recently become virtually water independent. Desalination of Mediterranean water was long thought of as the panacea, but the cost had been prohibitive. In recent years the technology has improved to such a degree that Israel now runs five desalination plants on the Mediterranean coast and produces more fresh water than it needs, highlighting the question of reasonable distribution.

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Medium 9781603444750

7. Water, Predators, and Pen-Raised Bobwhites

Hernández, Fidel Texas A&M University Press ePub

Figure 7.1. This map shows where annual precipitation averages 20, 30, and 40 inches. Although soils, length of growing season, and severity of winter affect bobwhite management, annual rainfall is the most powerful influence on much Texas rangeland. Management practices for bobwhites must be fit to rainfall zones.

IN THIS CHAPTER we discuss common practices other than food management that generate just as much interest in the bobwhite world: water, predators, and pen-raised bobwhites.

All animals need water to survive. Laboratory experiments tell us that a 160-gram bobwhite in the wild needs about 18–22 milliliters of water/day to survive. Some of this water, about 3–5 milliliters, can be obtained during the metabolism of food (metabolic water). The rest has to be obtained from outside (exogenous) sources.

Exogenous sources of water may include preformed water (water in food), free water, and dew. The amount of preformed water in food depends on the item. Preformed water may range from as low as 3% of the food-item mass (e.g., dry seeds) to as high as 90% (e.g., green vegetation). Free water may be obtained from a variety of sources such as stock ponds, puddles, and water troughs.

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Medium 9780253356024

7. Aquatic Systems

Jr John O Whitaker Indiana University Press ePub

Clean fresh water is not only important to fish and wildlife, but a requirement for human survival. At the time of European settlement, Indiana was blessed with an abundance of fresh water and freshwater habitat (Figure 7.1). The state is partly bounded by major water bodies. Lake Michigan forms about 40 mi of the northwest border, the Wabash River (the nation’s longest un-dammed river, flowing for a total of 510 mi) forms the western boundary of most of the southern half of Indiana, and the Ohio River forms the entire southern boundary, joining the Wabash at the lowest (345 ft above sea level) and most southwestern point in the state (Map 7.1).

The earliest written descriptions of Indiana’s lakes, rivers, and streams remark on the clear water and the abundance and diversity of fish (McCord 1970). Indeed, the origin of the name “Wabash” can be traced through French and English pronunciations to the Miami Indian word Wah-bah-she-keh, meaning “pure white,” a reference to the limestone river bottom in Huntington County, which is visible through the river’s crystal-clear waters. Robert Cavelier de La Salle is credited with the European “discovery” of the Ohio River in 1669–1670. The name “Ohio” is believed to be derived from an Iroquoian word meaning “great river.” However, La Salle interpreted “Ohio” as beautiful river, or la belle rivière (www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/nhb/S2.HTM). Several of Indiana’s interior rivers, such as the White and Whitewater rivers, still reflect the clarity of Indiana streams. All of Indiana’s earliest settlements (Ouiatenon, Chippecoke, and Kekionga) were established on major rivers. For the early European explorers and settlers, the major transportation routes were Indiana’s waterways and buffalo traces (McCord 1970). As settlers poured into Indiana, the state’s rivers, streams, and lakes provided food, power for mills, and transportation for moving grains, livestock, timber, and hay to market (McCord 1970).

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Medium 9781780643373

15: The Curious Case of the Even-aged Plantation: Wretched, Funereal or Misunderstood?

Kirby, K.J.; Watkins, C. CABI PDF


The Curious Case of the Even-aged

Plantation: Wretched, Funereal or


Chris P. Quine*

Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin, UK

15.1  Introduction

Plantations have proved to be an effective way of delivering the wood and wood prod­ ucts that we consume at alarming rates, para­ lleling to some degree the intensification and specialization that has been seen in farm­ ing (Brockerhoff et al., 2008). Indeed, much of the wood and wood products that we con­ sume depends upon the production from plantations, with some estimates suggesting up to 35% currently and more in the future

(Carle and Holmgren, 2008; Sutton, 2014); such production may limit the further loss of natural and semi-natural forests.

However, we also look for a wider range of ‘ecosystem services’ from our forests, in­ cluding from plantations (Quine et al., 2011,

2013). Hence, the policy and practice devel­ opments of the latter half of the 20th century have often been around moderating the pursuit of timber products, for example by introdu­ cing more structural complexity and extend­ ing rotations, so that other objectives can be met (Fig. 15.1).

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Medium 9781603444668

2. Impounded on the Rolling Plains

Margie Crisp Texas A&M University Press ePub

Destiny proudly poses for my camera, a grinning gap-toothed eight-year-old with wind-tangled black hair. Behind her, the orange waters of Lake J. B. Thomas whip themselves into small brown waves. She squints in the sun. The shutter clicks, and with a quick wave she scrambles down the steep rocks returning to her sister and their game of throwing rocks into the water. Her father uncaps a jar of the newest and best stinkbait for catching catfish. The girls squeal and hold their noses while the sleek muscular dog in the back of the pickup sniffs the air appreciatively. The two girls, their dad, and his best friend drove over from Big Spring for a day of fishing but even with the pungent bait, the catfish aren’t biting. I bring over my road map, and together we trace the path of the Colorado River from our position at Lake J. B. Thomas, down to the E. V. Spence Reservoir, and then to the O. H. Ivie Reservoir. The river runs through the Rolling Plains ecoregion,1 the southern end of the Great Plains, a land of deep clays, dry former prairies, and woods. It is bordered on the west by the Caprock Escarpment and the High Plains, on the south by the Edwards Plateau, and on the east by the Cross Timbers and Prairies ecoregion. With an annual rainfall of 20 inches, most of the area is desert-like rangeland locked in an unrelenting battle with woody brush, struggling croplands, and the ubiquitous oil industry.

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Medium 9780253006820

12. Vulnerability of the Electricity and Water Sectors to Climate Change in the Midwest

Sara C Pryor Indiana University Press ePub


The water and energy sectors exhibit high exposure to climate change and variability, and as discussed in chapters 2 and 17 of this volume, water and energy are also highly interlinked. Water systems use large volumes of energy, and equally, the energy sector is a major consumer of water (see chapter 2). According to some estimates, water supply and treatment consumes 4 percent of the national power supply in the United States, and electricity accounts for a substantial fraction of the cost of municipal water processing and transport (National Assessment Synthesis Team 2000). As described herein, water is essential to electricity production from fossil fuels, and a key tendency that may substantially increase water demand within the Midwest is expansion of ethanol production (see chapter 2 of this volume). Conversion of corn grain and stover to ethanol requires nearly five times as much water to generate fuel to travel one kilometer than is used in conversion of crude oil to gasoline (Scown et al. 2011). In this chapter we introduce some of the primary ways in which climate change may cause changes in the risks realized in the energy and water sectors, the interlinkages between water and energy, and possible methods to reduce vulnerabilities in both sectors.

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