This spectacularly illustrated compendium explores the remarkable diversity of life In the California deserts, telling how that diversity, created by drought and heat, has evolved with climate change through the ice ages. Along the way, there is much to learn from each desert species—whether it is a cactus, pupflsh, tortoise, or bighorn sheep—about adaptation to a warming, arid world. The book tells of human adaptation as well and is underlain with a deep appreciation for the knowledge acquired by native people during their 12,OOO-year desert experience. The California Deserts also addresses the current ecological condition of this place of remarkable and often unexpected beauty.
Bruce M. Pavlik, Professor of Biology at Mills College, is coauthor of Oaks of California and California’s Changing Landscapes: Diversity and Conservation of California Vegetation.