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This book intensively covers a never-before-explored aspect of Southern African nature and is an essential new addition to the library of every nature lover. It was researched and written over the last four and a half years to open a door to a little known micro-world that exists all around us. Invertebrates – which include commonly seen creatures such as butterflies, spiders, beetles, worms and scorpions – are everywhere. The signs of their day-to-day activities are all around us if we know where to look.
The life cycles and behaviours of many animals are discussed, with a special focus on interactions between mammals and invertebrates – a fascinating subject in itself.
While working on this book, Lee Gutteridge spent many hours in the field with expert entomologists and arachnologists, many of whom commented that; even though they had spent a lifetime in the field, this experience, of invertebrate tracking, had changed the way that they see the invertebrate world.
With funding received from the Oppenheimer family, 250 copies will be donated to indigenous trackers, whose knowledge Lee appreciates and respects.
How do species interact with each other and their environment? How do ecosystems change? What is biodiversity and can we afford to damage it? Throughout history, humankind has tried to order the living world and understand how it works. As our influence on the planet grows, answering these profound questions is becoming more and more pressing. Written in plain English, The Ecology Book is packed with short, pithy explanations of more than 90 key ideas. Step-by-step diagrams untangle tricky theories, illuminating quotes make the ideas and discoveries memorable, and witty illustrations enhance and play with our understanding of the science. You'll explore key theories, movements, and events in biology, geology, geography, and environmentalism, from the ideas of classical thinkers and Enlightenment attempts to impose order on nature, to discoveries such as DNA and theories like the Gaia hypothesis. Boxes highlighting "green" issues - the impact of pesticides, the plight of vulnerable species, and the search for renewable energy - appear throughout, as do profiles of influential figures - Charles Darwin, Carl Linnaeus, Rachel Carson, and James Lovelock - which place their ideas in their historical context. Whether you're new to ecology, a science student, or simply concerned about what's happening to our planet, this is a comprehensive introduction to the environment and climate change - arguably the most important subjects of our time.
The crucial importance of biodiversity law to future human welfare is only now being fully appreciated. This wide-ranging Handbook presents a range of perspectives from leading international experts reflecting up-to-date research thinking on the vital subject of biodiversity and its interaction with law. Through a rigorous examination of the principles, procedures and practices that characterise this area of law, this timely volume effectively highlights its objectives, implementation, achievements, and prospects. More specifically, the work addresses the regulatory challenges posed by the principal contemporary threats to biological diversity, the applicable general principles of international environmental law and the visions, values and voices that are shaping the development of the law. Presenting thematic rather than regime-based coverage, the editors demonstrate the state-of-the-art of current research and identify future research needs and directions. This comprehensive and authoritative Handbook will be an indispensable resource for legal scholars, students and practitioners alike.
The stock of the world's biological diversity and the state of its ecosystems are major determinants of the availability of commodities, both essential and desirable, for human life. This leading-edge study provides an overarching and balanced approach to the economics of biological conservation; considering man made and natural components, and their interdependence. Recognising the deficiencies of many contemporary studies, which focus almost entirely on natural capital, Clement Tisdell utilizes the concept of heritage biological capital, including germplasm, as part of his analysis of changes in the stock of biological capital. This comprehensive synthesis casts doubt upon some propositions and policies for resource conservation recommended by eminent ecologists in areas such as GM crops and livestock husbandry as well as agroecosystems and the concept of sustainable agricultural intensification. The propositions presented are lent strength by the author's decision to relate his analysis to pertinent contemporary institutional developments and scientific advances. The broad scope and rational scepticism with which this book has been compiled make it an ideal read for economists interested in ecological and environmental economics, natural scientists with an interest in biodiversity conservation and higher level policy makers in ecological and environmental fields.
The rapidly increasing human pressure on the biosphere is pushing biodiversity into the sixth mass extinction event in the history of life on Earth. The organisms being exterminated are integral working parts of our planet's life support system, and their loss is permanent. Like climate change, this irreversible loss has potentially devastating consequences for humanity. As we come to recognise the many ways in which we depend on nature, this can pave the way for a new ethic that acknowledges the importance of co-existence between humans and other species. Biological Extinction features chapters contributed by leading thinkers in diverse fields of knowledge and practice, including biology, economics, geology, archaeology, demography, architecture and intermediate technology. Drawing on examples from various socio-ecological systems, the book offers new perspectives on the urgent issue of biological extinction, proposing novel solutions to the problems that we face.
Origins of Biodiversity is a unique introduction to the fields of macroevolution and macroecology, which explores the evolution and distribution of biodiversity across time, space and lineages. Using an enquiry-led framework to encourage active learning and critical thinking, each chapter is based around a case-study to explore concepts and research methods from contemporary macroevolution and macroecology. The book focuses on the process of science as much as the biology itself, to help students acquire the research skills and intellectual tools they need to understand and investigate the biological world around them. In particular, the emphasis on hypothesis testing encourages students to develop and test their own ideas. This text builds upon the foundations offered in most general introductory evolutionary biology courses to introduce an exciting range of ideas and research tools for investigating patterns of biodiversity.
A remarkable look at the rarest butterflies, how global changes threaten their existence, and how we can bring them back from near-extinction Most of us have heard of such popular butterflies as the Monarch or Painted Lady. But what about the Fender's Blue? Or the St. Francis' Satyr? Because of their extreme rarity, these butterflies are not well-known, yet they are remarkable species with important lessons to teach us. The Last Butterflies spotlights the rarest of these creatures-some numbering no more than what can be held in one hand. Drawing from his own first-hand experiences, Nick Haddad explores the challenges of tracking these vanishing butterflies, why they are disappearing, and why they are worth saving. He also provides startling insights into the effects of human activity and environmental change on the planet's biodiversity. Weaving a vivid and personal narrative with ideas from ecology and conservation, Haddad illustrates the race against time to reverse the decline of six butterfly species. Many scientists mistakenly assume we fully understand butterflies' natural histories. Yet, as with the Large Blue in England, we too often know too little and the conservation consequences are dire. Haddad argues that a hands-off approach is not effective and that in many instances, like for the Fender's Blue and Bay Checkerspot, active and aggressive management is necessary. With deliberate conservation, rare butterflies can coexist with people, inhabit urban fringes, and, in the case of the St. Francis' Satyr, even reside on bomb ranges and military land. Haddad shows that through the efforts to protect and restore butterflies, we might learn how to successfully confront conservation issues for all animals and plants. A moving account of extinction, recovery, and hope, The Last Butterflies demonstrates the great value of these beautiful insects to science, conservation, and people.
A unique opportunity for students to learn biology through stories told by one of the great science storytellers of our time: Sean B. Carroll. This enriching text follows the structure of an introductory biology course, with brief chapters that span the breadth of the life sciences. This gives maximum flexibility to assign a few stories, or all of them.
In this rich, wide-ranging, beautifully illustrated volume, Egbert Leigh explores the results of billions of years of evolution at work. Leigh, who has spent five decades on Panama's Barro Colorado Island reflecting on the organization of various amazingly diverse tropical ecosystems, now shows how selection on "selfish genes" gives rise to complex modes of cooperation and interdependence. With the help of such artists as the celebrated nature photographer Christian Ziegler, natural history illustrator Deborah Miriam Kaspari, and Damond Kyllo, Leigh explains basic concepts of evolutionary biology, ranging from life's single-celled beginnings to the complex societies humans have formed today. The book covers a range of topics, including adaptation, competition, mutualism, heredity, natural selection, sexual selection, genetics, and language. Leigh's reflections on evolution, competition, and cooperation show how the natural world becomes even more beautiful when viewed in the light of evolution.
Deep inside caves, at the bottoms of oceans and lakes, beneath the ground: these concealed habitats are absent of sunlight. This strange and fascinating world of complete darkness is not a solitary place-it is inhabited by millions of life forms. Yet most humans-creatures of daylight-have never seen any of them. Until now. In this fascinating-sometimes eerie-book, extreme wildlife photographer and scientist Dante Fenolio brings the denizens of these shadowy haunts into focus. Life in the Dark shows us the many ways in which life forms have adapted to lightless environments, including refinements of senses, evolution of unique body parts, and illumination using "biological flashlights." With more than 200 mesmerizing color photographs, Life in the Dark unveils bizarre creatures like the firefly squid, the giant Amazonian catfish, the Chinese cavefish, and even the human bot fly, which lives in the darkness beneath its host's skin. Fenolio's rich and vibrant images shed new light on the world's fascinating creatures of darkness.
Agriculture as a social-ecological system embraces many disciplines. This book breaks through the silos of individual disciplines to bring ecologists and economists together to consider agriculture through the lens of resilience. It explores the economic, environmental and social uncertainties that influence the behaviour of agricultural producers and their subsequent farming approach, highlighting the importance of adaptability, innovation and capital reserves in enabling agriculture to persist under climate change and market volatility. The resilience concept and its relation to complexity theory is explained and the characteristics that foster resilience in agricultural systems, including the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services, are explored. The book discusses modelling tools, metrics and approaches for assessing agricultural resilience, highlighting areas where interdisciplinary thinking can enhance the development of resilience. It is suitable for those researching sustainable agriculture or those engaged in agricultural policy decisions and analysis, as well as students of ecology, agriculture and socioeconomics.
Conservation biology has gradually become one of the mainstream fields in contemporary science. The importance of biodiversity conservation is apparently straightforward to understand: because of global urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change, people become more knowledgeable about the harmony between human beings, society and nature. Biodiversity science is a leading multidisciplinary science in the 21st century. In Asia, there are two BRIC countries: India and China. Both are giant and developing countries. The population sizes of both countries rank in the top two across the nations of the whole world. In comparison with developed countries, biodiversity surveying in most Asian countries seems not so comprehensive. New species are continually discovered and reported across the region, and the mega-biodiversity and original forests throughout the region provide invaluable resources for ecologists to explore biodiversity patterns and test relevant ecological theories. This book thus conveys valuable information for researchers interested in the biodiversity conservation issues of the countries across the Asia-Pacific region. In the book, the author applies contemporary statistical methods and numerical techniques to study the biodiversity and biogeography patterns of different taxonomic groups over the region. These case studies are up-to-date and reflect the latest advances in the field of biodiversity science and conservation in the region.
This second part of Volume 48 of the Flora of Pan-Himalaya is devoted to the single genus, Saussurea of the Asteraceae family, which has wide medicinal applications. This is the largest family in the Pan-Himalaya, with 235 species, 149 of which are endemic to the Pan-Himalaya. Saussurea is a notoriously difficult, largely Asiatic, genus with often indistinct species boundaries. Many new species of Saussurea were described in the course of preparing this account. The nomenclatural novelties in this volume include five changes in status, and 17 new synonyms. 27 lectotypes are newly designated. During the research for this volume, the author and his team described 40 new species of Saussurea, and these, along with numerous new designations and classifications, are recorded here for the first time.
How does life work? How does nature produce the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we depend upon. One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated--there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar--there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet. A bold and inspiring synthesis by one of our most accomplished biologists and gifted storytellers, The Serengeti Rules is the first book to illuminate how life works at vastly different scales. Read it and you will never look at the world the same way again.
"A literary work with a life all its own, and without
exaggeration, it is a masterpiece. . . . Far from being a simple
narrative, the book discusses the incredible contribution each tree
makes to the planet, where and how to plant them, and what
environment they are most complementary to."
"In prose as rich as the forest itself, Diana Beresford-Kroeger
sees trees for all their attributes---as providers of clean air,
clean water, food, shelter, and beauty---and places them squarely
at the center of a complex web of nature that is crucial to all
species including man."
Nothing on earth compares to the Boreal forest to maintain life on this planet. The vast primeval forest stretches across the northern regions of the world, from northern Canada and Alaska to northern Europe, Russia, China, and Japan. Boreal species can be found in cooler temperate climates everywhere, including Michigan and other cool areas of the United States, and some outliers are even found in the tropics. The circumpolar runoff from the Boreal enriches the seas with nutrients in the spring. The evergreens of the Boreal act as a passive ground coolant. And the needles of the evergreens and the trichomal hairs of the deciduous trees comb the air free of harmful minute particulate pollution.
"Arboretum Borealis" does for the northern forests of the world what Arboretum America did for the forests of North America. Diana Beresford-Kroeger further describes how each Boreal tree group relates to its natural environment and how these specific trees can be used to promote health or to counteract the effects of pollution and global warming.
"Arboretum Borealis" reveals the fascinating history of these trees in Native American culture, including their medicinal uses. Finally, Beresford-Kroeger offers practical design ideas and tips---where to plant these trees, what season they look best in, and what native plants complement them.
Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a botanist; medical and agricultural researcher; lecturer; and self-defined "renegade scientist" in the fields of classical botany, medical biochemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. She is the author of "Arboretum America" and lives in Ontario, Canada.
Cover image by Christian H. Kroeger
Ecologists, land managers and policymakers continue to search for the most effective ways to manage biological invasions. An emerging lesson is that proactive management can limit negative impacts, reduce risks and save money. This book explores how to detect and respond to alien plant incursions, summarising the most current literature, providing practical recommendations and reviewing the conditions and processes necessary to achieve prevention, eradication and containment. Chapter topics include assessing invasiveness and the impact of alien plants, how to improve surveillance efforts, how to make timely management decisions, and how legislation and strategic planning can support management. Each chapter includes text boxes written by international experts that discuss topical issues such as spatial predictive modelling, costing invasions, biosecurity, biofuels, and dealing with conflict species.
This book guides animal ecologists, biologists and wildlife and data managers through a step-by-step procedure to build their own advanced software platforms to manage and process wildlife tracking data. This unique, problem-solving-oriented guide focuses on how to extract the most from GPS animal tracking data, while preventing error propagation and optimizing analysis performance. Based on the open source PostgreSQL/PostGIS spatial database, the software platform will allow researchers and managers to integrate and harmonize GPS tracking data together with animal characteristics, environmental data sets, including remote-sensing time series, and other bio-logged data such as acceleration data. Moreover, the book shows how the powerful R statistical environment can be integrated into the software platform either connect the database with R, or embedding the same tools in the database through the PostgreSQL extension Pl/R. The client/server architecture allows users to remotely connect a number of software applications that can be used as a database front end, including GIS software and WebGIS. Each chapter offers a real-world data management and processing problem that is discussed in its biological context; solutions are proposed and exemplified through ad hoc SQL code, progressively exploring the potential of spatial database functions applied to the respective wildlife tracking case. Finally, wildlife tracking management issues are discussed in the increasingly widespread framework of collaborative science and data sharing. GPS animal telemetry data from a real study are used to demonstrate the proposed examples and is freely available online for readers of this volume. This book is also suitable for undergraduate and graduate students, if accompanied by the basics of databases.
Centring on South Africa's Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, this book synthesizes a century of insights from the ecology and conservation management of one of Africa's oldest protected wildlife areas. The park provides important lessons for conservation management, as it has maintained conservation values rivalling those of much larger parks sometimes through, and sometimes despite, strong management interventions, including the rescue of the white rhino from extinction. In addition, the book highlights the ecological science produced in the park, much of which has become widely influential, including the megaherbivore concept, new functional approaches to understanding biomes, and new understandings about the role of consumers in shaping ecosystems. The volume is ideal for researchers and policymakers interested in the conservation of relatively small, isolated and protected areas.
This Handbook presents state-of-the-art methodological guidance and discussion of international practice related to the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment, featuring contributions from leading researchers and practitioners the world over. Its multidisciplinary approach covers contributions across five continents to broaden the scope of the field both thematically and geographically. A multifaceted variety of case studies provide examples of the use of information on biodiversity and ecosystem services in different types of impact assessment to improve decisions at all levels, from strategic choices to individual projects. In addition to its discussion of how biodiversity and ecosystem services can improve the salience and effectiveness of impact assessment, this Handbook presents a range of applications and possible solutions to challenges in key policy and planning sectors, including urban development, land use, energy, marine areas, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, health and tourism. This Handbook's combination of cutting-edge literature and methodological guidance supports researchers, practitioners and students in developing and implementing biodiversity and ecosystem services-inclusive impact assessment processes, which can contribute to better decisions about the use of our lands and waters. As such, it will appeal not only to scholars of impact assessment but of environmental sciences, environmental engineering, natural sciences, planning and economics as well.
Through a global and interdisciplinary lens, this book discusses, analyzes and summarizes the novel conservation approach of rewilding. The volume introduces key rewilding definitions and initiatives, highlighting their similarities and differences. It reviews matches and mismatches between the current state of ecological knowledge and the stated aims of rewilding projects, and discusses the role of human action in rewilding initiatives. Collating current scholarship, the book also considers the merits and dangers of rewilding approaches, as well as the economic and socio-political realities of using rewilding as a conservation tool. Its interdisciplinary nature will appeal to a broad range of readers, from primary ecologists and conservation biologists to land managers, policy makers and conservation practitioners in NGOs and government departments. Written for a scientifically literate readership of academics, researchers, students, and managers, the book also acts as a key resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.
Where do camels belong? In the Arab world may seem the obvious answer, but they are relative newcomers there. They evolved in North America, retain their greatest diversity in South America, and the only remaining wild dromedaries are in Australia. This is a classic example of the contradictions of 'native' and 'invasive' species, a hot issue right now, as the flip-side of biodiversity. We have all heard the horror stories of invasives, from Japanese knotweed that puts fear into the heart of gardeners to brown tree snakes that have taken over the island of Guam. But do we need to fear invaders? And indeed, can we control them, and do we choose the right targets? Ken Thompson puts forward a fascinating array of narratives to explore what he sees as the crucial question - why only a minority of introduced species succeed, and why so few of them go on to cause trouble. He discusses, too, whether our fears could be getting in the way of conserving biodiversity, and responding to the threat of climate change.
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