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1. Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An
2. Breakfast Of Biodiversity: The
3. The Unified Neutral Theory of
4. Sustaining Life: How Human Health
5. Conserving Forest Biodiversity:
6. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning,
7. The Economics of Ecosystems and
8. Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race,
9. Getting Biodiversity Projects
10. Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity
11. The Biodiversity Crisis: Losing
12. Chemotaxonomical Analyses of Herbaceous
13. Large Carnivores and the Conservation
14. Biodiversity
15. Biodiversity of Microbial Life:
16. Biodiversity: An Introduction
17. Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity
18. Surveying Natural Populations:
19. Urban Biodiversity and Design
20. Biodiversity Change and Human

1. Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-09-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$31.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813125758
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Kentucky's abundance of plant and animal life, from the bottomland swamps in the west to the rich Appalachian forests in the east, is extraordinary as well as beautiful. Glades, prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers, and caves form a biologically diverse patchwork that is unique to the state. Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity provides an essential reference to the remarkable natural history of the commonwealth and is a rallying call for the conservation of this priceless legacy.

Kentucky's ecosystems teem with diverse native species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Kentucky's Natural Heritage brings these sometimes elusive creatures into close view, from black-throated green warblers to lizard skin liverworts. The aquatic systems of the state are home to rainbow darters, ghost crayfish, salamander mussels, and an impressive array of other species that constitute some of the greatest levels of freshwater diversity on the planet.

Kentucky's Natural Heritage presents a persuasive argument for conservation of the state's biodiversity. Organized by a team from the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, the book is an outgrowth of the agency's focus on biodiversity protection.

Richly detailed and lavishly illustrated with more than 250 color photos, maps, and charts, Kentucky's Natural Heritage is the definitive compendium of the commonwealth's amazing diversity. It celebrates the natural beauty of some of the most important ecosystems in the nation and presents a compelling case for the necessity of conservation.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars I love KY Biodiversity Guide!
Not since Wharton and Barbour have Kentuckians been given as much information about our natural world as with the publication of Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity.While not overly technical, the easy-to-read text and great graphics are simple science.Plus, the hundreds of photographs of flora and fauna are outstanding.This book presents the status of biodiversity within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and relates to the region and the entire world with its relevance.

The foreword by Mr. Wendell Berry is both beautifully insightful and alarming.Mr. Berry gives a testament to the importance of biodiversity and the tragedy of losing it.

I ordered several "KY Biodiversity Guides" - one for myself and others to give as perfect gifts to "naturalists" I love.I highly recommend that everyone share the love of nature and of Kentucky by buying Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity.
... Read more

2. Breakfast Of Biodiversity: The Political Ecology of Rain Forest Destruction
by John Vandermeer, Ivette Perfecto
Paperback: 207 Pages (2005-10-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 093502896X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Unweaving the Web of Destruction

The continuing devastation of the world’s tropical rain forest affects us all—spurring climate change, decimating biodiversity, and wrecking our environment’s resiliency. Millions of worried people around the world want to do whatever it takes to save the forest that is left.

But halting rain forest destruction means understanding what is driving it.

In Breakfast of Biodiversity, John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto insightfully describe the ways in which such disparate factors as the international banking system, modern agricultural techniques, rain forest ecology, and the struggles of the poor interact to bring down the forest. They weave an alternative vision in which democracy, sustainable agriculture, and land security for the poor are at the center of the movement to save the tropical environment.

This new, fully updated edition of Breakfast of Biodiversity discusses important new developments in our understanding of rain forest biology and assesses the impacts of a decade of "free" trade on the rain forest and on those who live in and around it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, TERRIBLE binding!
This book is an excellent overview of the issues that cause rainforest deforestation, and gives an idea of the overall complexity facing conservation efforts on every level worldwide.Highly recommended.

The binding is, however, awful!Hard, with no give.During the first read through I broke the binding about a third of the way through.I was very careful after that, but about two-thirds of the way through, while reviewing some concepts, the binding broke again.When I say broke, I mean, completely broke to the point where the pages are coming out.I've owned this book for just a few weeks, and have gone through it twice.I've never seen a binding like this, and implore the publisher to reconsider this binding-type, it is awful!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Key Explanation of Rain Forest Destruction and Appropriate Counteraction
This is a powerful and concise book.Within the book are the equations and succinct explanations of for example, how the demand for bananas causes long term cycles of forest destruction as workers immigrate intobanana production areas and eventually are forced out of plantation workwith the only option of clearing additional forest for their own survival.

The authors also make a clear presentation of the problems of small pristine tropical park reserves in a sea of agriculture showing reduction of biodiversity as compared to landscapes that may be less pristine from mild to moderate farming and logging having more sustainable biodiversity.Here the argument is presented that less intensive agriculture (shade coffee,small plot farming) may both diminish poverty and loss of biodiversity.

Other books that relate well to the subject of social justice and biodiversity preservation are: The Burning Season: The Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest by Andrew Revkin; Requiem for Nature by John Terboough; and Contested Nature: Protecting International Biodiversity and Social Justice in the Twenty-First Century by Steven Brechin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sobering but empowering analysis
"Breakfast of Biodiversity" by John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto is a critical analysis of the myriad forces that are driving the destruction of the world's tropical rain forests, with particular emphasis on Central America where the authors have been engaged for many years of hands-on research and field work. The authors write in this, the 2005 second edition about the important insights and lessons that have been learned since the book's first edition published in 1995. Presenting knowledge gained through both scholarly research and their own practical experiences, the authors help us understand that narrowly-focused solutions to solving environmental problems will inevitably come up wanting in the absence of wider, more meaningful socio-political changes. The result is a sobering but ultimately empowering text that allows us to better understand both the challenge and the promise of saving the earth's remaining rain forests.

The authors explain how rain forests are neither fragile nor stable, discussing how rain forests can recover relatively quickly from short-term disruptions such as clear-cut logging operations but can suffer long-lasting damage from industrial agriculture and, of course, urbanization. We come to appreciate the wide variety of rain forest types as well as their common characteristics, shedding light on how humans might be able to make better strategic use of the land and live in harmony with the rain forest.

The idea that managing land under cultivation in a sustainable and socially equitable manner appears to be a surprisingly effective proposal when compared with the oftentimes ineffective method of land conservation that has often been favored by mainstream environmental groups. In fact, the authors compare the fate of rain forest lands over time to make their point: in Nicaragua, more rain forest had been saved as a result of the progressive land redistribution policies of the Sandinista government that in Costa Rica, where market forces have compelled the poor to convert so-called protected areas of the rain forest to farmland. Unfortunately, when the Sandinistas lost power in the 1990s, the neoliberal policies favored by the succeeding administration quickly unraveled these gains and resulted once again in an accelerated loss of rain forest lands.

However, the authors are hopeful that the anti-globalization movement can help to unravel the dense web that connects international capital with third world indebtedness, arguing that if inequality can be minimized then the poverty that drives desperate people into the rain forest can be curtailed. Therefore, the authors hope that their book will compel environmentalists to unite with social and political activists in an united effort to call for meaningful change in the world economic system. While this may be a tall order, the penetrating analysis contained in this exceptional book suggests that such a strategy is the only credible solution to solving one of humankind's most formidable problems.

I highly recommend this accessible, informative and enlightening book to everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Breakfast of biodiversity+ lunch and dinner too!
A slim volume that pack a punch.It highlights the global nature of the problem, stressing that rainforests can and indeed do regenerate, but not if the disturbance is too great.
Food insecurity and lack of land tenure are cited as important driving forces, and conventional, purist models of conservation, while satisfying the hopes and desires of lobbies in the wealthy developed world, fail to address the human dilammas that are so important.
A 'Political Ecological Strategy' if offered as a solution that takes heed of all the strands of the 'web of destruction' both in a local and a global context, and although not suggesting that the future is 'rosy', it does offer a glimmer of hope.
A book to be thoroughly recommended to all those who are interested in the future of the rainforest, its people and the planet.An excellent read.

4-0 out of 5 stars thought-provoking
Wonderfully researched, if sometimes dryly written. If you like this book, then you'll likely find something interesting in the coffee-table book, Costa Rica: The Last Country the Gods Made.

The essays, " New Conservation in the Costa Rican Parks System" and "House Made of Rain" touch on many of the things discussed in Vandermeer's text. ... Read more

3. The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (MPB-32) (Monographs in Population Biology)
by Stephen P. Hubbell
Paperback: 448 Pages (2001-05-01)
list price: US$67.50 -- used & new: US$57.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691021287
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Despite its supreme importance and the threat of its global crash, biodiversity remains poorly understood both empirically and theoretically. This ambitious book presents a new, general neutral theory to explain the origin, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity in a biogeographic context.

Until now biogeography (the study of the geographic distribution of species) and biodiversity (the study of species richness and relative species abundance) have had largely disjunct intellectual histories. In this book, Stephen Hubbell develops a formal mathematical theory that unifies these two fields. When a speciation process is incorporated into Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson's now classical theory of island biogeography, the generalized theory predicts the existence of a universal, dimensionless biodiversity number. In the theory, this fundamental biodiversity number, together with the migration or dispersal rate, completely determines the steady-state distribution of species richness and relative species abundance on local to large geographic spatial scales and short-term to evolutionary time scales.

Although neutral, Hubbell's theory is nevertheless able to generate many nonobvious, testable, and remarkably accurate quantitative predictions about biodiversity and biogeography. In many ways Hubbell's theory is the ecological analog to the neutral theory of genetic drift in genetics. The unified neutral theory of biogeography and biodiversity should stimulate research in new theoretical and empirical directions by ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and biogeographers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very thorough book on neutral theory in ecology by the man himself
The author presents a thorough case for his neutral theory of biogeography. He gives a full historical account of its development, and presents plenty of results from publications and simulations, essentially expounding point for point the search for more precise answers to the questions, why are there so many species, and why are they distributed they way they are? Full of interesting insights, and many points are applicable to other sciences as well - economics come to mind. One thing that might have been useful is a more explicit discussion of other neutral theories, say the theories of genetic drift, which predate Hubbell's equal named "ecological drift".But within its stated scope the book is very complete and highly readable as well. Maybe I should mention that I am writing as a scientist - it is not a typical pop science book to read on the train. It truly is a science book. It does not demand much prior knowledge but it does demand attention.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good theory, poor explication
Hubbell's work is interesting and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, his writing ability leaves a lot to be desired. As an applied mathematician working with biologists personally I think you should:
1. Specify your (mathematical) model *without* examples or justifications first.
Hubbell mixes his models with examples and rambling justifications. Poorly constructed ones if you ask me. This makes it hard to pull out what exactly the model is sometimes.
2. Make derivations clear and concise and if complicated put them in appendices. Hubbell does none of these. His mathematical reasoning and writing is far below the standard in science and although impressive for an ecologist, substandard for anyone else. He would have strongly benefitted from having a trained mathematician co-write or at least edit his mathy sections. Many of the results are either well known or would be explained differently by someone trained in the explication of mathematics. The importance of this is huge since the result is sometimes his statements are totally unclear. For example, on page 124 he says "as the sample size increase towards infinity..." This is a sample from a finite sized population. So he should be clear and say either sample with replacement, or also taking the population size to infinity, (which is it!) otherwise it doesn't make sense.

I also find his egoism (common in my experience with ecologists) disappointing. While he may have come up with a new theory of biodiversity, he did not come up with many of the underlying models. Unfortunately, he barely pays any respect to the countless other people who paved the way for his results. For example, his species abundance distribution is just the Ewen's sampling formula from population genetics, derived in 1972. In fact, the model side of the entire theory comes straight out of population genetics. Yes it explains something different, but it would be nice to see something at least some acknowledgement of that (something he is clearly aware of since he cites many of the popgen papers).

Also, the reference list is incomplete and the index is one of the worst I have come across recently. Paying for a good indexer is always worth the money.

In short, the ideas in this book are important, but the book itself is cluttered and not as clear as it could be. So I average 5 stars and 1 star and get 3 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Towards a unified thoery, but not there yet
A couple of years ago, Dr. Jim Brown (Univ. New Mexico) wrote an article in the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) website indicating that he had not seen any really significant new ideas in ecology during the last few year. Well, we have one.
In the hierarchy of biological systems, ecology deals with the highest and most complex levels. Explanation for patterns of abundance and distribution of organisms have been either too specific that only applies to a few species or even one, or too general that can not be tested (remember the ghost of competition's past).
Ecologists working at the community level have mostly been guided by the general principle that interactions tend to determine the diversity of communities. On the larger scale of biogeography, researchers considered that local diversity tends to be a function of a regional species pool. This debate became very contested in the early 1980's and continued for almost a decade, without any meaningful progress.Nonetheless, significant achivements in both areas of inquiry were made.
Hubbell takes advantage of the increased large-scale reasearch in community ecology (like the Smithsonian-MAB biodiversity network of plots) coupled with the ever more manipulative and reductionist approach to biogeography. Is important to add here Hubbell's own contribution to biodiversity research is substantial.Furthermore, the originality of the work is what sets this monograph appart from the last few in the series. The application of random walk models (i.e., ecological drift) to the organization of communities is not a truly new approach. What make is unique is that then he incorporates immigration and extinction rates across space (classical MacArthur-Wilson), and can then predict a range of abundances and distributions.He supplies ample data from tropical systems that agree with model's predictions. The more interesting aspect is when the data doesn't agree.Here there is plenty of productive work to be performed.
One point that Hubbell makes concerning the "triviality" of the nuetrality assumption.Can there be cases when the differential survival of individuals lead to deviations from the theory's prediction?I think that the assumption of neutrality is not as trivial as Hubbell makes it.
Overall, is probably one of the most intriguing and original works of the last decade.If you are interested in ecology, biogeography, and even conservation, this book will challenge what you know and how should we look at patterns and process of biodiversity. ... Read more

4. Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity
Hardcover: 568 Pages (2008-06-02)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$23.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195175093
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Earth's biodiversity-the rich variety of life on our planet-is disappearing at an alarming rate. And while many books have focused on the expected ecological consequences, or on the aesthetic, ethical, sociological, or economic dimensions of this loss, Sustaining Life is the first book to examine the full range of potential threats that diminishing biodiversity poses to human health.

Edited and written by Harvard Medical School physicians Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein, along with more than 100 leading scientists who contributed to writing and reviewing the book, Sustaining Life presents a comprehensive--and sobering--view of how human medicines, biomedical research, the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, and the production of food, both on land and in the oceans, depend on biodiversity. The book's ten chapters cover everything from what biodiversity is and how human activity threatens it to how we as individuals can help conserve the world's richly varied biota. Seven groups of organisms, some of the most endangered on Earth, provide detailed case studies to illustrate the contributions they have already made to human medicine, and those they are expected to make if we do not drive them to extinction. Drawing on the latest research, but written in language a general reader can easily follow, Sustaining Life argues that we can no longer see ourselves as separate from the natural world, nor assume that we will not be harmed by its alteration. Our health, as the authors so vividly show, depends on the health of other species and on the vitality of natural ecosystems.

With a foreword by E.O. Wilson and a prologue by Kofi Annan, and more than 200 poignant color illustrations, Sustaining Life contributes essential perspective to the debate over how humans affect biodiversity and a compelling demonstration of the human health costs. It is the winner of the Gerald L. Young Book Award in Human Ecology Best Sci-Tech Books of 2008 for Biology by Gregg Sapp of Library Journal ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity
This book is a must for anyone who cares about our world and what we as a collective people are doing to it.When one looks around and sees what devastations there are due to such things as global warming, deforestation, destruction of ecosytems and many other changes, it is easy to see why we MUST preserve and revere what remains of all forms of life on our planet.

Editor Dr. Eric Chivian lays out for us the myriad ways in which we should revere our planet.For instance, polar bears do not go into hybernation when in captivity yet they do in the wild.Humans could never go as long as bears do without the simple process of releaving our bladders, or we'd die!As an amateur zoologist -- it all goes back to my undergrad days of studying Field and Systematic Vertebrate Zoolong in college -- I have always been interested in what goes on this planet, and am an avid fan of not only Dr. Chivian but the other writers and editors of this book.

I would also like to give a quick shout out to the PBS NewsHour, for if it wasn't for an interview with Dr. Chivian, I would never have known about this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustaining Life : a breakthrough publication
The recent publication of Sustaining Life, edited by Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein, is an immensely valuable and timely addition to the growing body of literature in support of a One Health approach. This volume should stand as key testimony to the core value of biodiversity in maintaining the health of the planet and all life that depends on it, including humans, and should supersede political agendas that depend only on aesthetics as an argument for conservation.Best of all, this highly readable and beautifully illustrated text appeals to both science and non-science educated people and should be recommended reading for all who care about the future of our earth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Educational and intesting.Includes excellent discussion on biodiversity and ecosystems, and ties these into topics from medicines and human health to food and farming.Finally it closes with a discussion on what people can do.Clear explanations, good list of references and further reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crucially important
Wow!What a comprehensive piece of work.I believe "Sustaining Life" will prove to be one of the most important books of the 21st century.

I lead a small, volunteer-run conservation organization.Our objective is to educate the public about our local fauna and flora, to get them outdoors and to inspire an appreciation for wildlife and an understanding of their habitat needs.We emphasize tolerance for wild animals which increasingly come into conflict with us, as our own population expands and development marches onward.

Early on in this work, however, it became evident to me that the average person does not see much intrinsic value to wildlife, nor believes that other species have any inherent right to occupy space on this planet. Instead, people want to know how they themselves might benefit, (beyond aesthetics and recreational opportunities), from protecting wildlife and their habitats.Why limit our own expansion for the benefit of wildlife?Why not shoot the coyote who took a lamb, the fisher that snatched a cat, the fox who snuck off with a chicken, or the groundhog who eats in a vegetable garden?Why spend money on protective fencing, guard animals, or land conservation?"What's in it for me?" they want to know.

So, I decided I needed to learn the answers to these questions: to learn more about how biodiversity benefits people.I found this book and read it cover to cover.It is full of detailed examples of what Nature does for us, why all species, from fungi to polar bears, are important for our own survival, how healthy ecosystems ensure clean water and clean air, how countless individual species provide for our food production and medical treatments, and how a loss of biodiversity has, time and again, resulted in outbreaks of human infectious disease.There are many concrete examples in this book that I can use in my own work with the public, to help them understand why tolerating wildlife and protecting habitat are important for their own existence, and that of their children and grand children to come.Exactly what I needed.

This book is well organized and beautifully put together with stunning photos.It is written well enough to be read cover to cover, and valuable as a resource to which I will frequently refer.It assumes no detailed scientific knowledge on the part of the reader, as many technical terms are defined.However, it is densely packed with information and would probably be a very challenging read for someone who lacks a strong science background.

I do have one criticism.The editors occasionally make reference to the destructive effects of human overpopulation, but seem satisfied to give the subject only brief mention and then to quickly turn away from it.Well, it is certainly safer to tiptoe around this extremely important taboo of a topic, but it felt to me to be a cop out.After all, they argue that we need to preserve the world's flora and fauna so that we can develop more and better treatments for human illnesses.But what is the result of all that resource intensive medical research and treatment if not reduced human mortality and increased human population?

Even with the current human population, it may not be possible for us to live sustainably enough to halt the current extinction crisis, while at the same time provide people with better medical care.The editors present a graph on p. 408 which shows that in order for people to live sustainably, based on the 2001 human population, each person's ecological footprint would have to be, on average, only slightly higher than that of the average African, tens of thousands of whom receive no medical care at all. In light of this, I was disappointed that the editors avoided direct discussion of the need to maintain our own population at a lower level, and neglected to include, in their otherwise very helpful chapter entitled "What Individuals Can Do to Help Conserve Biodiversity", a suggestion that couples consider having only one or two children.

Nonetheless, I still think this book is outstanding.No other book that I could find addresses so comprehensively how important other species are for our own continued existence.I am deeply grateful to Drs. Chivian and Bernstein for taking on the enormous task of putting together this magnificent volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for conservationists and general public (and cheap!!)
First the more practical stuff. I think the book is very cheap, because I found for a much higher price somewhere else, but also because of its size and print quality (I expected something smaller). And it arrived very fast (I got super-fast shipping for free).
Now the book. I like that it has a lot of figures. I'm a scientist and usually have to read long, black and white papers, with only formal figures. Adding figures to text books is not cheap, but is makes is much more reader-friendly. Also, it is written in a non-scientific language so that anybody can read it, and it explains all necessary scientific terms. This might be a bit boring for those familiar with terminology, but I think its better that way, because this is NOT a scientific text book, it aims to reach wider audiences. thus, it has ''basic'' chapters on what biodiversity is and why is it threatened. Still, the book is essential for conservationists. It contains many hard data on why biological conservation is not just something we should promote because of aesthetic or recreational purposes but because of live and dead issues such as medical research and disease spreading. I would have liked though more than the seven groups of living organism that were reviewed in this book, for example fungi.
This book is somehow a mixture of scientific data with general environmental education. Something I will use for my work and also to share with my friends and (future) children.
... Read more

5. Conserving Forest Biodiversity: A Comprehensive Multiscaled Approach
by David Lindenmayer, Jerry F. Franklin
Paperback: 368 Pages (2002-07-01)
list price: US$49.50 -- used & new: US$38.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559639350
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While most efforts at biodiversity conservation have focused primarily on protected areas and reserves, the unprotected lands surrounding those area?the "matrix"?are equally important to preserving global biodiversity and maintaining forest health. In Conserving Forest Biodiversity, leading forest scientists David B. Lindenmayer and Jerry F. Franklin argue that the conservation of forest biodiversity requires a comprehensive and multiscaled approach that includes both reserve and nonreserve areas. They lay the foundations for such a strategy, bringing together the latest scientific information on landscape ecology, forestry, conservation biology, and related disciplines as they examine:

  • the importance of the matrix in key areas of ecology such as metapopulation dynamics, habitat fragmentation, and landscape connectivity
  • general principles for matrix management
  • using natural disturbance regimes to guide human disturbance
  • landscape-level and stand-level elements of matrix management
  • the role of adaptive management and monitoring
  • social dimensions and tensions in implementing matrix-based forest management
In addition, they present five case studies that illustrate aspects and elements of applied matrix management in forests. The case studies cover a wide variety of conservation planning and management issues from North America, South America, and Australia, ranging from relatively intact forest ecosystems to an intensively managed plantation.

Conserving Forest Biodiversity presents strategies for enhancing matrix management that can play a vital role in the development of more effective approaches to maintaining forest biodiversity. It examines the key issues and gives practical guidelines for sustained forest management, highlighting the critical role of the matrix for scientists, managers, decisionmakers, and other stakeholders involved in efforts to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem processes in forest landscapes. ... Read more

6. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective
Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-09-28)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$54.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199547963
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How will biodiversity loss affect ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, and human well-being?

In an age of accelerating biodiversity loss, this timely and critical volume summarizes recent advances in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research and explores the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The book starts by summarizing the development of the basic science and provides a meta-analysis that quantitatively tests several biodiversity and ecosystem functioning hypotheses. It then describes the natural science foundations of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research including: quantifying functional diversity, the development of the field into a predictive science, the effects of stability and complexity, methods to quantify mechanisms by which diversity affects functioning, the importance of trophic structure, microbial ecology, and spatial dynamics. Finally, the book takes research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning further than it has ever gone into the human dimension, describing the most pressing environmental challenges that face humanity and the effects of diversity on: climate change mitigation, restoration of degraded habitats, managed ecosystems, pollination, disease, and biological invasions.

However, what makes this volume truly unique are the chapters that consider the economic perspective. These include a synthesis of the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity, and the options open to policy-makers to address the failure of markets to account for the loss of ecosystem services; an examination of the challenges of valuing ecosystem services and, hence, to understanding the human consequences of decisions that neglect these services; and an examination of the ways in which economists are currently incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research into decision models for the conservation and management of biodiversity. A final section describes new advances in ecoinformatics that will help transform this field into a globally predictive science, and summarizes the advancements and future directions of the field. The ultimate conclusion is that biodiversity is an essential element of any strategy for sustainable development. ... Read more

7. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations
Hardcover: 400 Pages (2010-12)
list price: US$84.95 -- used & new: US$66.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1849712123
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Human well-being relies critically on ecosystem services provided by nature. Examples include water and air quality regulation, nutrient cycling and decomposition, plant pollination and flood control, all of which are dependent on biodiversity. They are predominantly public goods with limited or no markets and do not command any price in the conventional economic system, so their loss is often not detected and continues unaddressed and unabated. This in turn not only impacts human well-being, but also seriously undermines the sustainability of the economic system.

It is against this background that TEEB: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project was set up in 2007 and led by the United Nations Environment Programme to provide a comprehensive global assessment of economic aspects of these issues. This book, written by a team of international experts, represents the scientific state of the art, providing a comprehensive assessment of the fundamental ecological and economic principles of measuring and valuing ecosystem services and biodiversity, and showing how these can be mainstreamed into public policies.

This volume and subsequent TEEB outputs will provide the authoritative knowledge and guidance to drive forward the biodiversity conservation agenda for the next decade. ... Read more

8. Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race, and History (Foundations of Human Behavior)
by Jonathan Marks
Paperback: 321 Pages (1995-12-31)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0202020339
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The present volume is an attempt to synthesize, present,and argue for what has been learned and remains to be learned aboutthe biological differences within and among human groups. Marks, abiologist as well as an anthropologist, avails himself of the datagenerated by molecular genetics about the hereditary composition ofthe human species. As it happens, genetics has undermined thefundamental assumptions of racial taxonomy, for genetic variation hasturned out to be, to a large extent, polymorphism (variation withingroups) rather than polytypy (variation among groups). Thoughpopulations at geographical extremes can be contrasted, thefundamental units of the human species are populations rather thanraces. Further, genetics provides little in the way of reliablebiological history of : our species, because human populations areculturally-defined, as well as biological, entities. Genetics has alsobeen used as a scientific validation for cultural values - from theidea that there is indeed a small number of genetically distinct kindsof people ("races") to be identified, to more pervasive suggestionsabout the relationship of genetics to behavior. In its presentation ofthe biocultural nature of human diversity as well as in itspresentation of the history of the problem and the illusions embeddedin that history, this will be a widely used textbook that fills a voidin the literature of biology and of physical anthropology. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bankruptcy in the field of social science.
This book is very similar to Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man" except it attacks eugenics more straightforwardly and is even more shameless; just a series of lies and half-truths.But first, let me saythat the eugenics movement at the turn of the century did have twofundamental stumbling blocks: a belief in simple Mendelian principles ofheredity, and a belief in class and elitism. Until universal educationfinally took hold in only the last few decades, where bright students areencouraged to get advanced degrees, elitism or a sense of aristocracy andmoral certitude was part culture. But culture changes.So this book, likeGould's, uses old arguments against new concepts that are no longerrelevant.

What is even more strange however, is that almost everydiatribe against understanding group differences and investigating why andhow humans behave has now been turned around.At one time, like folkmedicine, folk eugenics was in fact largely pseudoscience in that doctrinedrove the science without adequate academic peer review or oversight.Butnow, the opposite is occurring.The radical egalitarians, those die-hardMarxists that reject science they do not like, are attacking academicallyreviewed work without providing any evidence to the contrary. This is howhe describes pseudoscience, and it is in fact what this book is all about. Half-truths and accusations against behavior genetics and evolutionarypsychology, fields that have now matured and are solidly in the mainstream.And social scientists? Still floundering around trying to make sense offailed programs and broken promises.They accuse institutional racism forpoverty but they provide no proof or evidence. They claim thatredistribution of wealth will make everyone equally smart without one studyto show that this is possible. The Gouldian Marxists have now become thePseudoscientists, fighting a rear-guard defense by making claims andaccusations that are clearly incorrect.

This book was written in 1995,but it reads like it was written in 1970. The author has convenientlyignored all of the most recent research in human evolution, sociobiology,and differential psychology. It is as if, in order to make his claims seemcredible, he had no way of addressing the scientific progress made the lastthirty years.And just over the last five years the few caveats he mayhave had about such matters as the correlation of brain size tointelligence have been laid to rest. Numerous recent studies from aroundthe world using sophisticated MRI methods have confirmed that intelligencedoes correlate with brain size, and is different for men and women fordifferent parts of the brain.This is just one example of the obfuscationconjured up in this book.

So is it good reading? By all means. ExistingMarxists will have their prejudices reinforced, while those of us who areunabashed empiricists can take pleasure in the hackneyed attempts atdislodging good solid science. That is, it was for me a pleasure to readbecause on almost every page, the arguments against eugenics could beturned around against the radical environmentalists. It is similar to anatheist reading the bible to confirm, chapter after chapter, theinconsistencies and absurdities of the text to reaffirm their position.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Broadbased View of Human Diversity
This book is excellent introduction to the thorny topic of human biodiversity.The book's real strength lies in the fact that Marks brings in historical material which illuminates the ideological underpinnings ofwork on human diversity. Dr. Marks, at the time this book was writtenwas a visiting professor at UC/Berkeley.He had studied anthropology atthe University of Arizona and genetics at UC/Davis. According to a noteon the copyright page he is known for his work in molecular anthropology. The book's 14 chapters take an extremely broad view of human diversity,both cultural and biological, and of the attempts to understand and explainthat diversity. The book covers the history of anthropology's attempts tounderstand human biodiversity, the evolution of primates, the eugenicsmovement, a critique of the biological race concept, patterns of humanvariation - both phenotypic and genotypic, the nature and function of humanvariation, the role of human variation in health and disease and a critiqueof hereditarian theory.An appendix discusses DNA structure and function. The chapters are generally well written and referenced.The book iswritten for an academic audience or at least a reader with a strongfoundation in biology. I found the critique of the biological raceconcept to be the most lucid and well thought out one that I have everread. Marks points out that a division of humans into three or fourprimordial races seems to ignore the long history of human intermingling. Either there has always been intermingling among humans - in which case thevery concept of biologically separated races is wrong from the start - orintermingling is a more recent phenomenon in which case race may have beenrelevant in the past but no longer is.Marks points out that the threemajor races identified in the US - White, Black and Asian - correspond tothe three major immigrant groups in US history - from Europe, WesternAfrica and Eastern Asia.[I note that he did not discuss NativeAmericans.] There is an excellent discussion of the history of racethinking as it was applied to the ABO blood groups.This makes palpablethe argument that within-race diversity is much greater than between-racediversity. Marks devotes a fair amount of time to discussing howcultural values impact on scientific work.This is illustrated by numerousexamples, many drawn from a critique of the eugenics movement.It isdifficult, however, to figure out what he thinks we should do about thefact that science is not "value neutral."He appears to suggestthat scientists be better schooled in the humanities and pay more attentionto the social implications of their work.It is unclear to me, however,that the problem with eugenics was that the scientists were unschooled inthe humanities and unmindful to the social implications of their policies. Could one not criticize Marks for simply displaying his own valueswhen he writes, for instance that: "The resolution of the problem ofracism is not to deny group differences, which obviously exist; nor to denythe human urge to associate with like-minded people, which is undeniablystrong; but to ensure that the diverse groups of people in contemporarysociety are given equal access to resources and opportunities.In otherwords, to assure that individuals are judged as individuals, and not asgroup members.The opportunity for self-improvement is vital to a free andcosmopolitan society, and the possibility to take advantage of it must beindependent of group considerations." (p. 168)?How does Marks assurehimself that these values of his do not subvert his scientific studies? The question is particularly troubling because many of the conceptssurrounding work on human diversity - such as "innate ability" -are loaded with social judgements.Is innate ability a static thing? Should society reward provide greater rewards to people with greater innateability? Marks repeatedly makes the observation that studies of humansare different than studies of animals, because there are practicalimplications to the results of studies on humans.But his book amplydemonstrates how studies on animals - such as studies on "rape"in scorpionflies - have also been misused to draw conclusions about humans. One could easily argue that all science is inevitably based on values. The book appears to be a collection of lectures and unfortunately there isa fair amount of repetition.The book might have been stronger had itdeveloped one central thesis.Nonetheless I found this to be a clearlywritten and very informative book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very clear. No indepth knowledge of genetics required.
I read this book while taking a correspondencecourse in physical anthropology from Univ. of Cal. at Berkeley. It is a textbook for a course onbiodiversity.

The book is about 280 pages and is subtitled genes, race and history. It has 14 chapters. The book's major theme is how culture and science haveinteracted around the issue of race.

Marks is both an anthropologist and a biologist, so the book presents a clear and thoroughexplanation of genetics in the context of how Western culture has chosen to interpret--and misinterpret--human differences.

It was the clearest, most enjoyable and thorough inquiry into the idea of race I have ever read. It greatly changed how I view human biodiversity. ... Read more

9. Getting Biodiversity Projects to Work: Towards More Effective Conservation and Development (Biology and Resource Management Series)
Hardcover: 464 Pages (2004-06)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$116.00
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Asin: 0231127642
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As fragmentation of natural habitat reduces protected areas to islands in a sea of humanity, only a broad-scale conservation strategy that takes account of people's needs will sufficiently conserve the world's biodiversity. Garnering the lion's share of mainstream funding from international development agencies, the Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) represent the most popular approach. ICDPs include a variety of initiatives seeking to link the conservation of biodiversity in protected areas with the social and economic development of neighboring communities. Yet there are still important unanswered questions concerning the effectiveness and even appropriateness of the ICDP approach. Some conservationists argue that the ICDP focus on development and poverty alleviation effectively dilutes biodiversity conservation goals.
This book explores both the theoretical and practical underpinnings of integrated conservation and development. It synthesizes existing experience to better inform conservationists and decision makers of the role ICDPs play in conservation and management and the role they should play in biodiversity conservation. ... Read more

10. Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth (CitizenKid)
by Rochelle Strauss
Hardcover: 40 Pages (2004-08-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.98
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Asin: 1553376692
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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If every known species on Earth were a leaf on a tree, that tree would have 1 750 000 leaves. Since humans count for just one leaf on the tree, we have a lot to learn about the millions of other forms of life with which we share the world. A dazzlingly illustrated and child-friendly introduction to biodiversity, Tree of Life shows how living things are classified into five kingdoms -- and how each has much to tell us about all aspects of life on our planet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tree of Life
Tree of Life is an excellent resource book on nature.Children are able to view the table of contents and easily find information.The illustrations are drawn in detail giving a realistic appearance.I think this book would come in very helpful when an early grade child is doing a research report.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tree of Life
The Tree of Life by Rochelle Strauss and illustrated by Margot Thompson is an excellent resource book to use in and out of the classroom. There are many interesting facts in the book, not only for children to read, but adults as well. The Tree of Life does a wonderful job of explaining biodiversity to children and is great for plant and animal lovers! I think that every classroom should have a copy of this book! It is very hard to find appealing Science books for children and this book is appropriate for just that!

4-0 out of 5 stars Tree of life
Tree of Life written by Rochelle Strauss, Illustrated by Margot Thompson. I thought this book was a very unique and educational tool for informing children about Science, nature and life. The book is very detailed and is full of interesting information that will keep kids interested as well as decent pictures. Im not sure if i would purchase this book for my own home, but i would definately check it out from the library to share with my children.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cool
It is very cool
By the way, this is my favourite book.
{It is also a 2005 Silverbirch Award Book- Canada or Ontario or qch}

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book
This book offers an excellent introduction to Biodiversity and natural history. Ideal for children ages 8-12, it will appeal to nature, animal and plant lovers of all ages! Images and text weave a wonderful story about life on Earth, while presenting issues and concepts in a thoughtful, approachable way. A real must for educators...every classroom and school library should have a copy!! ... Read more

11. The Biodiversity Crisis: Losing What Counts (American Museum of Natural History Books)
Paperback: 224 Pages (2001-05)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.50
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Asin: 1565845706
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The fastest mass extinction of species in Earth's history, intriguingly explored in an illustrated companion to the American Museum of Natural History's permanent exhibit. The Biodiversity Crisis offers general audiences a clear understanding of the current threat to life on Earth posed by the fastest mass extinction in Earth's history, which has taken place over the last five hundred years. Unlike prior extinctions, this one is clearly a direct result of human activity, not of natural phenomena. Yet the public remains unaware of the crisis in sustaining biodiversity—the variety and interdependence of all living things on Earth. Published in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History, whose major Hall of Biodiversity recently opened to great acclaim, the book defines biodiversity, demonstrates its importance to life as we know it, and presents strategies and solutions, including what we can do in our own homes and communities, for stopping the escalating rate of species' extinction. It combines essays by experts including E. O. Wilson, Niles Eldredge, and Peter Raven; profiles of naturalists such as Jane Goodall; and case studies. Engaging and accessible, The Biodiversity Crisis presents the best scientific thinking in language and images that we can all understand, and is illustrated with photographs and drawings and supplemented with a resource section and a glossary of key terms. Black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout.

The New Press is pleased to announce the publication of this new title with the American Museum of Natural History, a collaboration that began with the publication of Epidemic! in 2000.

Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the world's preeminent institutions for scientific research and education, visited by more than four million people annually. Three new titles, Earth, The Biodiversity Crisis, and Cosmic Horizons, are companion volumes to three major new permanent exhibitions at the museum: the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, the Hall of Biodiversity, and the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Solid Summary of the Biodiversity Crises
In recent years there have been a number of books written on the ongoing crisis in biodiversity.Most are rather complex and may be little understood by the general public. This short book, published by the American Museum of Natural History and edited by Michael Novacek, is an easy to read summary of many (but not all) of the issues involved."The Biodiversity Crisis" was compiled as a companion volume for the AMNH's Hall of Biodiversity and contains short chapters by some of the most important scientists involved in the study of biodiversity such as E. O. Wilson, Paul Ehrlich, David Ehrenfeld, Peter Raven, Niles Eldrege and Dan Janzen. That said I dropped it a star for the lack of discussions on human population, certainly a major component (along with human consumption) of the whole issue!

It is my opinion (for what it is worth) that this crisis, in part driven by another serious problem- global climate change, is much more important than is generally believed (as evidenced by numerous poll results.)The biodiversity hall at the AMNH and the publication of this short book I hope has and will educate enough people in the perils that lie ahead.We do not need panic, but we do need appreciation of the problem so that we may act responsibly to mitigate the decline of biodiversity as much as possible.Any other actions (or inactions) would be immensely irresponsible. It is in our hands to at least try to construct a sustainable society and thus a stable biosphere.Reading this book (or visiting the AMNH Hall of Biodiversity) is a start.I would, however, read other books, including some that tackle that elephant in the room, the human population problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars World-Class in Every Way

This is very much an edited work, with most of the entries being but two or three pages in length.All of the authors are world-class proven naturalists and related professionals, and the photography that accompanies each work is top of the line.Of all the bio-diversity books available, this one appears to be both the easiest to digest and the most pleasing to the eye.

Biodiversity is an option-generator.More diversity, more options for the future.See also Howard Bloom, World Brain.

Hyperdisease happens more often than we might think, and is very relevant to concerns today about the collapse of public health.See also Laurrie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust.

Biological elements are being inserted into commercial off the shelf products with unanticipated effects, some of which are damaging to humans.One noteworthy example: Corning added an ingredient to its tubes to make them less brittle, and scientists were finding their experiments infected and contaminated.Corning would not reveal what had changed, claiming it was a trade secret.Independent investigation finally determined that there was a synthetic chemical mimicking estrogen and having the effect of an estrogen injection on the cells exposed to the Corning tubes.Buyers beware--there would appear to be some disclosure standards required!

Mass catastrophes have occurred many times over history, eliminating up to 75% of all living things, with varied outcomes in the millions of years thereafter.See also David Keys, Catastrophe, on the most recent, the Dark Ages, circa 535 A.D.

Naturalists and natural science--the study of nature in its own environment, are endangered.Most universities are failing to support this vital area of study, with a result that our understanding of nature stems largely from lab work and computer models that are far removed from reality.See also John Paul Ralston, Voltaire's Bastards.

I highly recommend this book.It is both discouraging (so much yet to be done to stabilize the world) and encouraging (many good things being done by many small groups).

... Read more

12. Chemotaxonomical Analyses of Herbaceous Plants Based on Phenolic and Terpenic Patterns: Flexible Tools to Survey Biodiversity in Grasslands
by Nabil Semmar
Hardcover: 257 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$59.00 -- used & new: US$58.99
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Asin: 1616687894
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Analysis of plant diversity aims to understand the organisation and the variability of biological populations within ecosystems. In classical analysis, individual plants are firstly identified on the basis of morphological/cytological parameters, then biodiversity is evaluated tacking into account presences/absences, abundances and densities of plants. Although morphological parameters are easily accessible, they provide limited precision on the differentiation between individuals that share a high similarity. This book provides illustrations on different chemotaxonomical criteria helping to understand complex structures of plant diversity. It focuses particularly on the chemotaxonomic usefulness of phenolic compounds (phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, etc.) and sesquiterpenes in analysis of plant chemical polymorphisms at different systematic levels (from family to variety and chemotype via genus and species). ... Read more

13. Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity
Paperback: 526 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$41.00
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Asin: 1559630809
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity brings together more than thirty leading scientists and conservation practitioners to consider a key question in environmental conservation: Is the conservation of large carnivores in ecosystems that evolved with their presence equivalent to the conservation of biological diversity within those systems? Building their discussions from empirical, long-term data sets, contributors including James A. Estes, David S. Maehr, Tim McClanahan, Andr?s J. Novaro, John Terborgh, and Rosie Woodroffe explore a variety of issues surrounding the link between predation and biodiversity: What is the evidence for or against the link? Is it stronger in marine systems? What are the implications for conservation strategies?

Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity is the first detailed, broad-scale examination of the empirical evidence regarding the role of large carnivores in biodiversity conservation in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It contributes to a much more precise and global understanding of when, where, and whether protecting and restoring top predators will directly contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. Everyone concerned with ecology, biodiversity, or large carnivores will find this volume a unique and thought-provoking analysis and synthesis.

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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Marshalling science for the conservation of large carnivores
The contributors to this edited book are all advocates of carnivores as well as being partisans of a particular side in an academic debate.This debate concerns the relative importance of "top-down" and "bottom-up" regulation.For example, are elk in Yellowstone limited by the amount of forage available (bottom-up) or by wolf predation (top down)?The answer to the scientific question matters for environmental policy: wolves are a lot more important for the ecosystem if top-down regulation dominates.

With this in mind, it's possible that the fact that these authors like large carnivores for ethical reasons might influence their scientific judgment that top-down regulation generally characterizes ecosystems.Or, it could be that the world really does work that way - - you be the judge.The authors are honest and up-front about both the policy issues and the scientific issues, and there are several contributions that argue for more complex relationships among trophic levels than the simple bottom/top-regulation dichotomy would suggest.

Within this general consensus, the editors have done a good job selecting papers.There is a nice diversity of cases: the usual suspects (wolves and grizzlies for the lay reader; otters, sea urchins, and kelp for the biologist) as well as some new suspects (Florida panther, coral reefs) and some more unusual items (culpeos and exotic herbivores in Patagonia).Themes included not just basic predator-prey relationships but a wide range of more complex relationships within ecosystems on land and in the sea.

The chapters are written by biologists for biologists, but few of the chapters are particularly technical.It should be readable for a lay person with a college degree (or equivalent) - - but it's certainly not a book for the beach.Nonetheless, it is a good book, and one of the few edited books in which the many contributions really do address the same topic.Not only biologists but anyone interested in policy issues of large carnivore conservation can learn from this book.
... Read more

14. Biodiversity
by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Paperback: 112 Pages (2003-06-15)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
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Asin: 0618315144
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A photo essay demonstrating the concept of biodiversity, a term used to encompass the many forms of life on Earth and their interdependence on one another for survival. The reader not only gets a firm grasp of what biodiversity is, but also an explanation of why it is important to maintain. ... Read more

15. Biodiversity of Microbial Life: Foundation of Earth's Biosphere (Wiley Series in Ecological and Applied Microbiology)
by James T. Staley, Anna-Louise Reysenbach
Hardcover: 592 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$149.95 -- used & new: US$145.98
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Asin: 0471254339
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Biodiversity of Microbial Life places the importance and novelty of the diversity of the microbial world in perspective with the biodiversity of plants and animals. Microbial diversity has driven the evolution of all life on Earth as well as the nutrient cycles, which are key to the operation of the biosphere. Microorganisms live in all ecosystems, even extreme environments not habitable to other organisms. Noted experts including Carl Woese, the originator of the Tree of Life, and Rita Colwell, who is now Director of the National Science Foundation, offer their unique perspectives on the extent and importance of microbial biodiversity. Special emphasis is placed on:
* Evolution, speciation, and contrasts between microbial biodiversity and plant and animal biodiversity
* Physiological and metabolic diversity of microorganisms
* Biodiversity of microbial life in terrestrial and marine environments
* Symbioses between microorganisms and plants, insects, and humans
* Extreme environments populated exclusively or primarily by microorganisms including thermal vents and hot springs, polar sea ice environments, and subterranean ecosystems
* Microorganisms and biotechnology

Biodiversity of Microbial Life is an essential resource for all biologists interested in biodiversity. ... Read more

16. Biodiversity: An Introduction
by Kevin J. Gaston, John I. Spicer
Paperback: 208 Pages (2004-02-23)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$33.02
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Asin: 1405118571
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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This concise introductory text provides a complete overview of biodiversity - what it is, how it arose, its distribution, why it is important, human impact upon it, and what should be done to maintain it.

  • Timely overview of the serious attempts made to quantify and describe biodiversity in a scientific way
  • Acts as an easy entry point into the primary literature
  • Provides real-world examples of key issues, including illustrations of major temporal and spatial patterns in biodiversity
  • Designed primarily with undergraduate students and course lecturers in mind, it will also be of interest to anyone who requires an overview of, and entry to, the vast literature on these topics.
  • All the figures included in the book are downloadable from the Blackwell Publishing website
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Tries to do too much..
This is a very terse book.The stated purpose, according to the authors (Kevin Gaston and John Spicer at the University of Sheffield, UK) is to "cover as much ground in as few pages as possible."It succeeds,to a limited extent, by providing an outline to key issues associated withbiodiversity research.It supplements this skeletal approach with numerousreferences for additional reading, and a few URLs.While there is a clearneed for a succinct reader on biodiversity, I cannot recommend this book asa good introductory text.It tries to be too broad (including, e.g.,biodiversity below the earth's surface) rather than being more informativeon a focused range of topics.As a result the coverage on many of thetopics is maddeningly shallow - for example, 1 page on species-arearelationships, 1/3rd of a page on local versus regional diversity (withoutreference to alpha, beta, gamma diversity), a short paragraph on patternsof diversity with productivity, and a discussion of endemism withoutreference to historical or spatial isolation.One way the 113-page bookmight have been better executed in comparable length is by omitting themarginally informative 5th chapter on "maintaining biodiversity,"which uses 1/6th of the book's length to outline the UN Convention onBiological Diversity.Despite these crippling problems the book doesconvey many of the critical issues facing scientists, environmentalists andpolicy makers in this poorly understood (and frequently misrepresented)subject. The first 3 chapters provide a useful overview of the elements andsurrogates for biodiversity, historical diversification, and some of thechallenges to mapping biodiversity at a range of spatial scales. ... Read more

17. Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservation
by Peter Feinsinger
Paperback: 236 Pages (2001-07-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$26.99
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Asin: 1559638788
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This work explains how to undertake field studies to guide conservation work. It is aimed at anyone working in conservation regardless of their professional or scientific background. The methods and procedures of scientific inquiry are explained in a step-by-step manner. The author wants to make the process of doing science accessible and effective. The purpose of this book is not only to offer information, but primarily to catalyze the process of good thinking, so that readers can learn how to think and understand the importance of broad inquiry, no matter what the conservation project. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good study guide for real world research
I had to use this book in my Environmental Studies class at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Now that I live in North Carolina and study at the University of Maryland (online), I still do find it helpful when I'm in the field. A little hard to understand if you've never done field work, but once you work in the field, it falls into place. Not really for novices.

5-0 out of 5 stars good read
plenty of good information, presented in an easy-to-read and even entertaining manner - good choice for anyone considering conservation research! ... Read more

18. Surveying Natural Populations: Quantitative Tools for Assessing Biodiversity
by Lee-Ann C. Hayek, Martin A. Buzas
 Hardcover: 616 Pages (2010-07-27)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$65.41
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Asin: 0231146205
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Surveying Natural Populations is a user-friendly primer to the essential methodologies of quantitative field ecology or paleoecology. Combining the intuitive methods of the field researcher with the mathematical precision of the statistician, the volume determines, through real biodiversity and ecological examples, the necessary measures for a complete community assessment while clarifying the confusions between biological and statistical terminology. Focusing on underlying mathematical concepts, it describes how to complete incrementally a quantitative sampling of any recent or fossil population.

The first half ofSurveying Natural Populations explains the fundamentals of ecological assessment. Employing a single data set throughout, initial chapters navigate such topics as estimating densities, relative abundance, occurrences, the determination of adequate sample sizes and field sampling schemes. The second half covers the newest advances in biodiversity measurement. Through the use of information mathematics and decomposition, the authors mathematically examine the relationship among a number of proposed diversity indices and discard inappropriate measures. What remains is a simple, all-encompassing system called SHE analysis, in which species density, richness, information, and evenness are all shown to be related explicitly. This biodiversity data is then integrated into a simple graphic, a plot called a biodiversitygram, which provides the researcher with a cohesive descriptive and inferential tool to assess any community's biodiversity.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

I have to say that before reading this book I hated statistics and everythingto do with any type of natural sampling.But this book has changed my life! It's easy to read text and easy to follow examples have reinvigorated my love for statistical sampling.I recommend this to anyone who has any interest in statistics.It will change you life too!

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Rules
When I was Reading this book i got the chills.The creative quality of the statistics and inciteful view of populations is so rad.I love this book. ... Read more

19. Urban Biodiversity and Design (Conservation Science and Practice)
by Norbert Muller, P. Werner, J. G. Kelcey
Paperback: 648 Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$79.95 -- used & new: US$56.00
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Asin: 1444332678
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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With the continual growth of the world's urban population, biodiversity in towns and cities will play a critical role in global biodiversity. This is the first book to provide an overview of international developments in urban biodiversity and sustainable design. It brings together the views, experiences and expertise of leading scientists and designers from the industrialised and pre-industrialised countries from around the world. The contributors explore the biological, cultural and social values of urban biodiversity, including methods for assessing and evaluating urban biodiversity, social and educational issues, and practical measures for restoring and maintaining biodiversity in urban areas. Contributions come from presenters at an international scientific conference held in Erfurt, Germany 2008 during the 9th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biodiversity. This is also Part of our Conservation Science and Practice book series (with Zoological Society of London). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Book fills a research gap in sustainable design
I'm about halfway through the book. As a design practitioner, I'm finding a wealth of material that supports my intuitive observations, e.g that brownfields and certain cultural sites have relatively high urban biodiversity and are potential bd sources within the urban matrix. The science is not too difficult for amateurs to tackle and much of the data is presented visually, a help. I recommend it to anyone involved ingreen infrastructure, sustainable site design or urban lands conservation.
... Read more

20. Biodiversity Change and Human Health: From Ecosystem Services to Spread of Disease (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) Series)
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-01-26)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$32.00
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Asin: 1597264970
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Biodiversity Change and Human Health brings together leading experts from the natural science and social science realms as well as the medical community to explore the explicit linkages between human-driven alterations of biodiversity and documented impacts of those changes on human health. The book utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to explore and address the complex interplay between natural biodiversity and human health and well-being. The five parts examine

  • health trade-offs between competing uses of biodiversity (highlighting synergistic situations in which conservation of natural biodiversity actually promotes human health and well-being);
  • relationships between biodiversity and quality of life that have developed over ecological and evolutionary time;
  • the effects of changing biodiversity on provisioning of ecosystem services, and how they have affected human health; the role of biodiversity in the spread of infectious disease;
  • native biodiversity as a resource for traditional and modern medicine.
Biodiversity Change and Human Health synthesizes our current understanding and identifies major gaps in knowledge as it places all aspects of biodiversity and health interactions within a common framework. Contributors explore potential points of crossover among disciplines (both in ways of thinking and of specific methodologies) that could ultimately expand opportunities for humans to both live sustainably and enjoy a desirable quality of life.
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