Ecology of Dakota Landscapes Past, Present, and Future W. Carter Johnson, Dennis H. Knight

Publication date:
12 Apr 2022
Yale University Press
336 pages: 254 x 203 x 17mm
219 color + 23 b-w illus.
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A well-illustrated review of the Northern Great Plains that blends natural history and human history

W. Carter Johnson and Dennis H. Knight have blended the natural and human histories of the Northern Great Plains into a well-illustrated, comprehensive work. Covering a vast period of time, they move from geological developments millions of years ago and the effects of glaciers to the effects of agriculture in recent centuries. The book ends with a discussion of the future of this region under conditions of climate change, with recommendations about how to balance agriculture and other pressing needs in the twenty-first century.

Johnson and Knight bring decades of experience to chapters on the major ecosystems of the Dakotas. Written for readers with varying backgrounds, and with discussions of the Prairie Pothole Region, Missouri River, grasslands, woodlands, the Black Hills, and rivers and wetlands, the book is unique and will become a long-lasting source of information. Readers will appreciate the photography and other colorful illustrations.

W. Carter Johnson is professor emeritus at South Dakota State University and resides in Brookings, SD. Dennis H. Knight, professor emeritus at the University of Wyoming, is the author of Mountains and Plains: The Ecology of Wyoming Landscapes. He lives in Laramie, WY.

"Ecology of Dakota Landscapes offers a clear understanding of the historic and current ecology of a heavily impacted region and a plan to protect its resources for future generations."—Shawn DeKeyser, North Dakota State University

Ecology of Dakota Landscapes is simply a grand and wonderful book. If some apocalypse removed all libraries and repositories of knowledge, this one volume would preserve the most important knowledge and insights about the Dakotas.”—Dan Binkley, author of Forest Ecology:  An Evidence-Based Approach

“There is more to the Dakotas than wheatfields and rangelands, and these landscapes have changed greatly through time. W. Carter Johnson and Dennis Knight demonstrate they have the northern prairie in their blood.”—William H. Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY  

"An essential and truly remarkable treatise is finally available—for former Dakotans like me and all others—to appreciate the ecological wonders of a complex and diverse region."—Joy B. Zedler, Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology, Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Ecology of Dakota Landscapes is the most complete, in-depth look at Dakota ecosystems and their history.  An absolutely fascinating read!"—Gabe Brown, author of Dirt to Soil