Most of the arid zones of the world have undergone vast ecological changes over the last five decades due to escalation of human population and alteration in landuse pattern. As a consequence of the human intervention in desert environments, their biodiversity is also changing. The earlier ecologists who have carried out researches on typical deserticolous elements are the pioneers. Prof. John Leonard Cloudsley-Thompson is one of those who initiated research on the fauna of MiddleEast and has builtup a school of desert biology. John is attaining the age of 80 years and we thought it appropriate to felicitate him by publishing a Festschrift. This compendium contains 28 articles contributed by John s, colleagues, acquaintances and friends from all over the world. The chapters are spread over a wide spectrum of subjects like climate, grasslands, ecology and physiology of invertebrates and vertebrates. It is expected that this multiauthored treatise will be quite beneficial for the students of desert ecology and we earnestly hope that this assemblage of arid zone subjects will be a fitting Honour to John, the last ``Titan of the Sahara Desert as one of the Authors has called him.
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