This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.
The word ‘vegetation’ is not a precise term. It is more inclusive than ‘flora’, which is confined to the taxonomic varieties found at a particular place, but does not take in the data about climate and soils which are found in the definitions of biome. The term is spatially undefined and can legitimately be applied to e.g., the whole of the tropical forests, a patch of relict woodland in an agricultural landscape, a field of soy beans or even a lawn. It is no surprise that there is no one system of classification of vegetation types. In Europe, for instance, the dominant species tends to give its name to the vegetation type, without any mention of climate: oak woodland/beech woodland/birch woodland might be ...