Books & Essays
Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and Conservation
Island Press, Fall 2012
Forgotten Grasslands of the South is a literary and scientific case study of some of the biologically richest and most endangered ecosystems in North America. Eminent ecologist Reed Noss tells the story of how southern grasslands arose and persisted over time and addresses questions that are fundamental for conserving these vital yet poorly understood ecosystems.
The author examines the natural history of southern grasslands; their origin and history (geologic, vegetation, and human); biological hotspots and endangered ecosystems; physical determinants of grassland distribution, including ecology, soils, landform, and hydrology; fire, herbivores, and ecological interactions
The final chapter presents a general conservation strategy for southern grasslands, including prioritization, protection, restoration, and management. Also included are examples of ongoing restoration projects, along with a prognosis for the future.
In addition to offering fascinating new information about these little-studied ecosystems, Noss demonstrates how natural history is central to the practice of conservation. Natural history has been on a declining trajectory for decades, as theory and experimentation have dominated the field of ecology. Ecologists are coming to realize that these divergent approaches are in fact complementary, and that pursuing them together can bring greater knowledge and understanding of how the natural world works and how we can best conserve it.
Forgotten Grasslands of the South explores the overarching importance of ecological processes in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and is the first book of its kind to apply natural history, in a modern, comprehensive sense, to the conservation of biodiversity across a broad region. It sets a new standard for scientific literature and is essential reading not only for those who study and work to conserve the grasslands of the South but also for everyone who is fascinated by the natural world.
Land of Fire and Water: The Florida Dry Prairie Ecosystem
E. O. Painter, De Leon Springs, FL (edited volume 2006)
Proceedings of the Florida Dry Prairie Conference.
Hoctor, T.S., R.F. Noss, L.D. Harris, and K.A. Whitney. 2006. Spatial ecology and restoration of the longleaf pine evosystem. Pages 377-402 in S. Jose, E. Jokela, and D. Miller, editors. The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem: Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Noss, R.F., and M.J. Bland. 1990. Geology and physiography. Pages 4-26 in S.H. Wolfe, ed. An Ecological Characterization of the Florida Springs Coast: Pithlachascotee to Waccasassa Rivers. Biological Report 90(21). USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC.
Noss, R.F., and S.H. Wolfe. 1990. Summary. Pages 211-219 in S.H. Wolfe, ed. An Ecological Characterization of the Florida Springs Coast: Pithlachascotee to Waccasassa Rivers. Biological Report 90(21). USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC.
Noss, R.F. 2011. Between the devil and the deep blue sea: Florida's unenviable position with respect to sea level rise. Climatic Change 107:1-16.
Eisenberg, D., R.F. Noss, J. Waterman, and M.B. Main. 2011. Distribution and habitat use of the Big Cypress fox squirrel (Sciurus niger avicennia). Southeastern Naturalist 10:75-84.
Noss, R.F. 2003. Another dead diamondback. Wild Earth 13(2/3):33-37.
Noss, R.F. 1996. The naturalists are dying off. Conservation Biology 10:1-3.
Noss, R.F. 1991. Effects of edge and internal patchiness on avian habitat use in an old-growth Florida hammock. Natural Areas Journal 11:34-47.
Hirth, D.H., L.D. Harris, and R.F. Noss. 1991. Avian community dynamics in a peninsular Florida longleaf pine forest. Florida Field Naturalist 19(2):33-48.
Noss, R.F. 1989. Longleaf pine and wiregrass: Keystone components of an endangered ecosystem. The Natural Areas Journal 9:211-213.
Noss, R.F. 1988. The longleaf pine landscape of the Southeast: almost gone and almost forgotten. Endangered Species Update 5 (5): 1-8.
Noss, R.F. 1987. Florida's National Forests: Our last chance. ENFO 87(6): 1-14.
Noss, R.F. 1986. Conservation Guidelines: Florida Native Plant Society. The Palmetto 6(2): 12-13.
Noss, R.F., and L.D. Harris. 1986. Nodes, networks, and MUM's: preserving diversity at all scales. Environmental Management 10:299-309.