Society & Culture

Georgia’s ecological diversity explored in new University of Georgia Press book

Guide examines state’s ecological diversity
The Natural Communities of Georgia published by the University of Georgia Press.

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Press has published a new book on Georgia’s ecological diversity. “The Natural Communities of Georgia” is a reference for ecologists and other scientists, as well as a resource for Georgians interested in the region’s natural heritage.

The book presents a comprehensive overview of the state’s natural landscapes, providing an ecological context to enhance understanding of this region’s natural history.

This guide makes the case that identifying Georgia’s 65 distinctive natural communities and the factors that determine their distribution are central to understanding the state’s ecological diversity and the steps necessary for its conservation.

Each natural community’s description includes traits that make it interesting and significant; physical factors and ecological processes that determine the distribution and characteristics of each community; typical plant communities; representative or noteworthy animals; and sidebars that discuss particularly interesting features.

“The Natural Communities of Georgia” features more than 400 color photographs.

Contributions to the book are from scientists who have managed, researched and written about Georgia landscapes for decades. Leslie Edwards is a lecturer at Georgia State University. Jonathan Ambrose is an assistant chief in the Nongame Conservation Section, Wildlife Resources Division, of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. L. Katherine Kirkman is a scientist of plant ecology at Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway.

Major support for this project was provided by the AGL Resources Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. In-kind support was provided by the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway and Georgia State University.

A display featuring the book will be on view in UGA’s main library’s lobby throughout the month of March.

UGA Press
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the UGA Press was founded in 1938 and is the largest book publisher in the state. It has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1940. With a full-time staff of 24 publishing professionals, the UGA Press currently publishes 80-85 new books a year and has more than 1,800 titles in print. It has well-established lists in Atlantic World and American history, American literature, African-American studies, Southern studies and environmental studies, as well as a growing presence in the fields of geography, urban studies, international affairs and security studies. For more information, see