The Importance of Ecosystems

  • Sara F. Oldfield
  • Peggy Olwell
  • Nancy Shaw
  • Kayri Havens
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


The U.S. has a rich diversity of native plants, landscapes, and ecosystems. The relationship between native plant communities, ecosystems and ecoregions is discussed in this Chapter. Maps of vegetation and Level 1 Ecoregions are provided. The characteristics and main types of forests, woodlands, grasslands, deserts, and wetlands are described. Important plant species in different ecosystems are highlighted. This Chapter includes information on the former and current extent of major ecosystem types. Summary information is provided on ecosystems and carbon storage.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara F. Oldfield
    • 1
  • Peggy Olwell
    • 2
  • Nancy Shaw
    • 3
  • Kayri Havens
    • 4
  1. 1.CambridgeUK
  2. 2.Bureau of Land ManagementWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.USDA Forest ServiceRocky Mountain Research StationBoiseUSA
  4. 4.Chicago Botanic GardenGlencoeUSA

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