Ecological climatology is an interdisciplinary framework to understand the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in the climate system. It examines the physical, chemical, and biological processes by which landscapes affect and are affected by climate. The central theme is that terrestrial ecosystems, through their cycling of energy, water, chemical elements, and trace gases, are important determinants of climate. The coupling between climate and vegetation is seen at spatial scales from stomata to vegetation geography and at time scales of near instantaneous to millennia. In particular, natural vegetation dynamics and human land uses and land management are important mechanisms of climate change. The boreal forest-tundra ecotone and the North African Sahel are examples of climate-ecosystem dynamics at the biogeographical spatial and temporal scale. Deforestation, desertification of drylands, cultivation of grasslands, reforestation following farm abandonment, and urbanization are case studies of how human uses of land alter climate.
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'There is much to like in this text. It presents a complex area without overmuch recourse to technicalities (although it is aimed at the graduate market and this is not a beginner's book) … Overall, anyone interested in seeing how these topics interact should read this book.' TEG News
'… extremely well-written and even the more technical parts seem accessible to a non-specialist … it is very well-produced and surprisingly error-free given the size and nature of the tome.' Pam Berry, Environmental Conservation
Ecological climatology provides an interdisciplinary framework to understand the functioning of terrestrial landscapes in the climate system. It combines aspects of physical-climatology, micrometeorology, hydrology, soil science, plant physiology, biogeochemistry, biogeography, and vegetation dynamics to explain the physical, chemical and biological processes by which landscapes affect and are affected by climate.
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