Nature Out of Place

Author: Jason Van Driesche
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781610910958
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

American Perceptions of Immigrant and Invasive Species

Author: Peter Coates
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520249305
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Anyone who thinks worry about invasive species is a new phenomenon should think again! Coates depicts a 19th century America awash in fear of starlings, English sparrows, Hessian flies, gypsy moths, and tree-of-heaven. This is a scholarly yet lively review of the factors that have shaped attitudes towards introduced species, replete with innumerable vignettes of surprising critics and defenders of various new arrivals. Any aficionado of invasions will be enthralled."—Dan Simberloff, author of Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida "This is a fascinating work of scholarship, one I could hardly put down. It is a must read for anyone interested in the social and moral context of managing non-native species."—Dov Sax, co-editor of Species Invasions: Insights into Ecology, Evolution, and Biogeography

A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines

Author: Yvonne Baskin
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781610911009
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118239016
Format: PDF
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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.

Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions

Author: Dr. Daniel Simberloff
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520948432
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This pioneering encyclopedia illuminates a topic at the forefront of global ecology—biological invasions, or organisms that come to live in the wrong place. Written by leading scientists from around the world, Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions addresses all aspects of this subject at a global level—including invasions by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria—in succinct, alphabetically arranged articles. Scientifically uncompromising, yet clearly written and free of jargon, the volume encompasses fields of study including biology, demography, geography, ecology, evolution, sociology, and natural history. Featuring many cross-references, suggestions for further reading, illustrations, an appendix of the world’s worst 100 invasive species, a glossary, and more, this is an essential reference for anyone who needs up-to-date information on this important topic. Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions features articles on: • Well-known invasive species such the zebra mussel, chestnut blight, cheatgrass, gypsy moth, Nile perch, giant African snail, and Norway rat • Regions with especially large numbers of introduced species including the Great Lakes, Mediterranean Sea, Hawaiian Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. • Conservation, ecological, economic, and human and animal health impacts of invasions around the world • The processes and pathways involved in invasion • Management of introduced species

Inheritors of the Earth

Author: Chris D. Thomas
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610397282
Format: PDF, Docs
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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.

Biological Invasions and Animal Behaviour

Author: Judith S. Weis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110707777X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book provides a comprehensive look at the critical role of animal behaviour in the success and impact of biological invasions.

Impact of Biological Invasions on Ecosystem Services

Author: Montserrat Vilà
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319451219
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The book presents an analysis of the ecological, economic and social threats posed by the introduction and spread of non-native species. It provides a comprehensive description of impacts of non-native species from all five kingdoms of life across all ecosystems of the world. New insights into the impacts arising from biological invasions are generated through taking an ecosystem services perspective. This work highlights that management of biological invasions is needed not only to sustain biodiversity and the environment, but also to safeguard productive sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as to preserve human health and well-being.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 0143122010
Format: PDF
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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.

Biological Invasions and Its Management in China

Author: Fanghao Wan
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9402409483
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The book discusses invasive-species problems in agriculture, forests and aquatic ecosystems, highlighting the invasive mechanisms and management of the selected invasive species. Biological invasion has become a serious global ecological and economic problem that deserves particular attention from both government officials and scientists. This volume focuses on three key scientific areas: 1) population establishment and spreading mechanisms of the selected invasive species; 2) ecology adaptation, population growth, expansion and evolution of invasive species; and 3) impact of bio-invasion on the ecosystem structure and function at community and ecosystem levels. The presented research will result in techniques for better management of invasive species.