Grasslands comprise more than a quarter of the Earth's land surface. In addition to supporting a wide range of vertebrates such as domestic livestock and a variety of games species, grassland is the natural habitat for a wide range of invertebrate species, and this book considers those which occur in grassland and their impact on soil fertility and herbage growth. It describes grassland as a habitat for invertebrates, the groups which occur there and their abudance. An extensive literature on grassland invertebrates scattered through numerous scientific journals and reports is drawn on in an attempt to develop an overview.
In the opening chapter the major grassland types are considered and the features which influence the distribution and abudance of the invertebrates which inhabit them are discussed. Next the major taxonomic groups are reviewed in turn, with a brief account of their biology and ecology and of their ecosystem role. Some general features of grassland invertebrate communities are then described and teh factors which influence th epopulation densities of their constituent species are considered. Particular attentionm is given to the ways in which populations are influenced by management practices. The final and largest chapterdeals with the various ways in which invertebrates influence important grassland processes through ingestion of organic matter, interaction with injurious species is considered, with particular emphasis on the potential for achieving this through manipulating grassland management practices.
`Curry brings together the somewhat disparate literature on the ecology and control of grassland pests, the roles of invertebrates in grassland ecosystem processes (notably soil fertility and decomposition), and the structure and properties of these communities. Undoubtedly, he succeeds, and this is indeed a valuable contribution of the book. It should be particularly useful for agriculturalists and conservationists in driving home the message that grasslands are not just grass!' Trends in Ecology and Evolution `Curry has worked his way through 1100 literature references. The information gained has been clearly arranged in logical order according to the main points of the individual subjects...the book is truly recommendable.' Vegetatio `... a valuable overview of the ecology of grassland invertebrates.' Biologist `Draws on the extensive but widely scattered literature to present an overview of the ecology of grassland invertebrates, with particular emphasis on their impact on soil fertility and sward productivity.' SciTech Book News ` ... a good overview of the considerable quantity of information on the many aspects of the ecology of grassland invertebrates ... comprehensive text ... well supported with good diagrammatic representations ...' Geoderma
Preface. 1. The grassland habitat. 2. The composition of the invertebrate fauna. 3. The grassland invertebrate community. 4. Factors affecting the abundance and composition of the grassland fauna. 5. Influence of management on the grassland fauna. 6. Effects of grassland invertebrates on soil fertility and plant growth. References. Index.