nature out of place biological invasions in the global age

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Nature Out Of Place

Author : Jason Van Driesche
ISBN : 1610910958
Genre : Nature
File Size : 77. 73 MB
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Though the forests are still green and the lakes full of water, an unending stream of invasions is changing many ecosystems around the world from productive, tightly integrated webs of native species to loose assemblages of stressed native species and aggressive invaders. The earth is becoming what author David Quammen has called a "planet of weeds." Nature Out of Place brings this devastating but overlooked crisis to the forefront of public consciousness by offering a fascinating exploration of its causes and consequences, along with a thoughtful and practical consideration of what can be done about it. The father and son team of Jason and Roy Van Driesche offer a unique combination of narratives that highlight specific locations and problems along with comprehensive explanations of the underlying scientific and policy issues.Chapters examine Hawaii, where introduced feral pigs are destroying the islands' native forests; zebra mussel invasion in the rivers of Ohio; the decades-long effort to eradicate an invasive weed on the Great Plains; and a story about the restoration of both ecological and human history in an urban natural area. In-depth background chapters explain topics ranging from how ecosystems become diverse, to the characteristics of effective invaders, to procedures and policies that can help prevent future invasions. The book ends with a number of specific suggestions for ways that individuals can help reduce the impacts of invasive species, and offers resources for further information.By bringing the problem of invasive species to life for readers at all levels, Nature Out of Place will play an essential role in the vital effort to raise public awareness of this ongoing ecological crisis.

A Plague Of Rats And Rubbervines

Author : Yvonne Baskin
ISBN : 1610911008
Genre : Nature
File Size : 65. 17 MB
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The human love of novelty and desire to make one place look like another, coupled with massive increases in global trade and transport, are creating a growing economic and ecological threat. The same forces that are rapidly "McDonaldizing" the world's diverse cultures are also driving us toward an era of monotonous, weedy, and uniformly impoverished landscapes. Unique plant and animal communities are slowly succumbing to the world's "rats and rubbervines" -- animals like zebra mussels and feral pigs, and plants like kudzu and water hyacinth -- that, once moved into new territory, can disrupt human enterprise and well-being as well as native habitats and biodiversity. From songbird-eating snakes in Guam to cheatgrass in the Great Plains, "invasives" are wreaking havoc around the world. In A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines, widely published science writer Yvonne Baskin draws on extensive research to provide an engaging and authoritative overview of the problem of harmful invasive alien species. She takes the reader on a worldwide tour of grasslands, gardens, waterways, and forests, describing the troubles caused by exotic organisms that run amok in new settings and examining how commerce and travel on an increasingly connected planet are exacerbating this oldest of human-created problems. She offers examples of potential solutions and profiles dedicated individuals worldwide who are working tirelessly to protect the places and creatures they love. While our attention is quick to focus on purposeful attempts to disrupt our lives and economies by releasing harmful biological agents, we often ignore equally serious but much more insidious threats, those that we inadvertently cause by our own seemingly harmless actions. A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines takes a compelling look at this underappreciated problem and sets forth positive suggestions for what we as consumers, gardeners, travelers, nurserymen, fishermen, pet owners, business people -- indeed all of us who by our very local choices drive global commerce -- can do to help. "

Liars And Outliers

Author : Bruce Schneier
ISBN : 9781118239018
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32. 37 MB
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In today's hyper-connected society, understanding the mechanisms of trust is crucial. Issues of trust are critical to solving problems as diverse as corporate responsibility, global warming, and the political system. In this insightful and entertaining book, Schneier weaves together ideas from across the social and biological sciences to explain how society induces trust. He shows the unique role of trust in facilitating and stabilizing human society. He discusses why and how trust has evolved, why it works the way it does, and the ways the information society is changing everything.

Inheritors Of The Earth

Author : Chris D. Thomas
ISBN : 9781610397285
Genre : Nature
File Size : 63. 10 MB
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Human activity has irreversibly changed the natural environment. But the news isn't all bad. It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world, causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in Inheritors of the Earth, biologist Chris Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-colored comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of the technological age. This eye-opening book is a profound reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.

The Unending Frontier

Author : John F. Richards
ISBN : 0520939352
Genre : Nature
File Size : 77. 21 MB
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It was the age of exploration, the age of empire and conquest, and human beings were extending their reach—and their numbers—as never before. In the process, they were intervening in the world's natural environment in equally unprecedented and dramatic ways. A sweeping work of environmental history, The Unending Frontier offers a truly global perspective on the profound impact of humanity on the natural world in the early modern period. John F. Richards identifies four broadly shared historical processes that speeded environmental change from roughly 1500 to 1800 c.e.: intensified human land use along settlement frontiers; biological invasions; commercial hunting of wildlife; and problems of energy scarcity. The Unending Frontier considers each of these trends in a series of case studies, sometimes of a particular place, such as Tokugawa Japan and early modern England and China, sometimes of a particular activity, such as the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling in the Arctic. Throughout, Richards shows how humans—whether clearing forests or draining wetlands, transporting bacteria, insects, and livestock; hunting species to extinction, or reshaping landscapes—altered the material well-being of the natural world along with their own.

The Ecology Of Invasions By Animals And Plants

Author : Charles S. Elton
ISBN : 9781489972149
Genre : Science
File Size : 73. 82 MB
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The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Author : Steven Pinker
ISBN : 9780143122012
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 29. 4 MB
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Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

Fifty Years Of Invasion Ecology

Author : David M. Richardson
ISBN : 9781444330007
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 34 MB
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Invasion ecology is the study of the causes and consequences of the introduction of organisms to areas outside their native range. Interest in this field has exploded in the past few decades. Explaining why and how organisms are moved around the world, how and why some become established and invade, and how best to manage invasive species in the face of global change are all crucial issues that interest biogeographers, ecologists and environmental managers in all parts of the world. This book brings together the insights of more than 50 authors to examine the origins, foundations, current dimensions and potential trajectories of invasion ecology. It revisits key tenets of the foundations of invasion ecology, including contributions of pioneering naturalists of the 19th century, including Charles Darwin and British ecologist Charles Elton, whose 1958 monograph on invasive species is widely acknowledged as having focussed scientific attention on biological invasions.

Biosecurity In The Global Age

Author : David Fidler
ISBN : 0804750297
Genre : Law
File Size : 76. 49 MB
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"The renewed threat of biological weapons highlights the importance of crafting policy responses informed by the rule of law. This book explores patterns in recent governance initiatives and advocates building a "global biosecurity concert" as a way to address the threats presented by biological weapons and infectious diseases in the early 21st century."--BOOK JACKET.

The New Wild

Author : Fred Pearce
ISBN : 9780807033692
Genre : Nature
File Size : 21. 10 MB
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Named one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist A provocative exploration of the “new ecology” and why most of what we think we know about alien species is wrong For a long time, veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce thought in stark terms about invasive species: they were the evil interlopers spoiling pristine “natural” ecosystems. Most conservationists and environmentalists share this view. But what if the traditional view of ecology is wrong—what if true environmentalists should be applauding the invaders? In The New Wild, Pearce goes on a journey across six continents to rediscover what conservation in the twenty-first century should be about. Pearce explores ecosystems from remote Pacific islands to the United Kingdom, from San Francisco Bay to the Great Lakes, as he digs into questionable estimates of the cost of invader species and reveals the outdated intellectual sources of our ideas about the balance of nature. Pearce acknowledges that there are horror stories about alien species disrupting ecosystems, but most of the time, the tens of thousands of introduced species usually swiftly die out or settle down and become model eco-citizens. The case for keeping out alien species, he finds, looks increasingly flawed. As Pearce argues, mainstream environmentalists are right that we need a rewilding of the earth, but they are wrong if they imagine that we can achieve that by reengineering ecosystems. Humans have changed the planet too much, and nature never goes backward. But a growing group of scientists is taking a fresh look at how species interact in the wild. According to these new ecologists, we should applaud the dynamism of alien species and the novel ecosystems they create. In an era of climate change and widespread ecological damage, it is absolutely crucial that we find ways to help nature regenerate. Embracing the new ecology, Pearce shows us, is our best chance. To be an environmentalist in the twenty-first century means celebrating nature’s wildness and capacity for change. From the Hardcover edition.

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