grass in search of human habitat organisms and environments

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Grass

Author : Joe C. Truett
ISBN : 9780520944527
Genre : Nature
File Size : 32. 39 MB
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Part autobiography, part philosophical rumination, this evocative conservation odyssey explores the deep affinities between humans and our original habitat: grasslands. In a richly drawn, anecdotally driven narrative, Joe C. Truett, a grasslands ecologist who writes with a flair for language, traces the evolutionary, historical, and cultural forces that have reshaped North American rangelands over the past two centuries. He introduces an intriguing cast of characters—wildlife and grasslands biologists, archaeologists, ranchers, and petroleum geologists—to illuminate a wide range of related topics: our love affair with turf and how it manifests in lawns and sports, the ecological and economic dimensions of ranching, the glory of cowboy culture, grasslands and restoration ecology, and more. His book ultimately provides the background against which we can envision a new paradigm for restoring rangeland ecosystems—and a new paradigm for envisioning a more sustainable future.

American Bison

Author : Dale F. Lott
ISBN : 0520233387
Genre : Nature
File Size : 67. 30 MB
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A behavioral ecologist details the history of the American bison, covering such topics as bison physiology, conservation efforts, and the relationship of bison to neighbors including badgers, wolves, prairie dogs, and coyotes.

A Sea Of Glass

Author : Drew Harvell
ISBN : 9780520961111
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 15 MB
Format : PDF
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Winner of the 2016 National Outdoor Book Award, Environment Category It started with a glass octopus. Dusty, broken, and all but forgotten, it caught Drew Harvell’s eye. Fashioned in intricate detail by the father-son glassmaking team of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, the octopus belonged to a menagerie of unusual marine creatures that had been packed away for decades in a storage unit. More than 150 years earlier, the Blaschkas had been captivated by marine invertebrates and spun their likenesses into glass, documenting the life of oceans untouched by climate change and human impacts. Inspired by the Blaschkas’ uncanny replicas, Harvell set out in search of their living counterparts. In A Sea of Glass, she recounts this journey of a lifetime, taking readers along as she dives beneath the ocean's surface to a rarely seen world, revealing the surprising and unusual biology of some of the most ancient animals on the tree of life. On the way, we glimpse a century of change in our ocean ecosystems and learn which of the living matches for the Blaschkas’ creations are, indeed, as fragile as glass. Drew Harvell and the Blaschka menagerie are the subjects of the documentary Fragile Legacy, which won the Best Short Film award at the 2015 Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit. Learn more about the film and check out the trailer here.

Cane Toad Wars

Author : Rick Shine
ISBN : 9780520967984
Genre : Nature
File Size : 81. 23 MB
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In 1935, an Australian government agency imported 101 specimens of the Central and South American Cane Toad in an attempt to manage insects that were decimating sugar-cane harvests. In Australia the Cane Toad adapted and evolved with abandon, voraciously consuming native wildlife and killing predators with its lethal skin toxin. Today, hundreds of millions of Cane Toads have spread across the northern part of Australia and continue to move westward. The humble Cane Toad has become a national villain. Cane Toad Wars chronicles the work of intrepid scientist Rick Shine, who has been documenting the toad’s ecological impact in Australia and seeking to buffer it. Despite predictions of devastation in the wake of advancing toad hordes, the author’s research reveals a more complex and nuanced story. A firsthand account of a perplexing ecological problem and an important exploration of how we measure evolutionary change and ecological resilience, this book makes an effective case for the value of long-term natural history research in informing conservation practice.

Circling Back

Author : Joe C. Truett
ISBN : 9781587292408
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 64. 71 MB
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“There was so much space.” These words epitomize ecologist Joe Truett's boyhood memories of the Angelina River valley in East Texas. Years and miles later, back home for the funeral of his grandfather, Truett began a long meditation on the world Corbett Graham had known and he himself had glimpsed, a now-vanished world where wild hogs and countless other animals rustled through the leaves, cows ate pinewoods grass instead of corn, oaks and hickories and longleaf pines were untouched by the corporate ax, and the river flowed freely. Truett's meditation resulted in this clear-sighted portrait of a place over time, its layers revealed by his love and care and curiosity.Truett celebrates his family's heritage and the unspoiled natural world of the Piney Woods without nostalgia. He recreates an older, simpler, more worthy age, but he knows that we have lost touch with it because we wanted to: he laments the loss but understands it. What makes his prose so moving and so redeeming is this precise combination of honesty and sorrow, overlaid by a quiet passion for both the natural and the human worlds.

All Flesh Is Grass

Author : Joseph Seckbach
ISBN : 9048193168
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 46. 47 MB
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This new book takes us through a journey from early life to modern agriculture. The thirty eight authors present current studies on the interrelation of plants-animals. This topic has always fascinated man, as evidenced even by the first chapters of Genesis. The world of aqueous and terrestrial fauna appeared on early earth only after the flora covered the areas with the green pigmentation. Almost all life depends upon sunlight via the photosynthesis of the botanical world. We read abut the harnessing of bee pollination of crops to make it an essential component of modern agriculture endeavor. Some plants seduce insects for pollination by their appearance (e.g., disguised orchids entice visitors); there is the production of sweet nectar as a bribe in flowers to attract bees, butterflies, and honey-sucking birds. A particular outstanding phenomena are the carnivorous plants that have developed trapping and digesting systems of insects and higher animals.

Evolution S Wedge

Author : David Pfennig
ISBN : 9780520954045
Genre : Nature
File Size : 70. 97 MB
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Evolutionary biology has long sought to explain how new traits and new species arise. Darwin maintained that competition is key to understanding this biodiversity and held that selection acting to minimize competition causes competitors to become increasingly different, thereby promoting new traits and new species. Despite Darwin’s emphasis, competition’s role in diversification remains controversial and largely underappreciated. In their synthetic and provocative book, evolutionary ecologists David and Karin Pfennig explore competition's role in generating and maintaining biodiversity. The authors discuss how selection can lessen resource competition or costly reproductive interactions by promoting trait evolution through a process known as character displacement. They further describe character displacement’s underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms. The authors then consider character displacement’s myriad downstream effects, ranging from shaping ecological communities to promoting new traits and new species and even fueling large-scale evolutionary trends. Drawing on numerous studies from natural populations, and written for a broad audience, Evolution’s Wedge seeks to inspire future research into character displacement’s many implications for ecology and evolution.

Twilight Of The Mammoths

Author : Paul Schultz Martin
ISBN : 0520231414
Genre : Nature
File Size : 43. 17 MB
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The author's overkill hypothesis is presented in this study that explains the mysterious megafauna extinctions in North and South America around the time humans arrived at the end of the last great ice age.

The Oldest Living Things In The World

Author : Rachel Sussman
ISBN : 9780226057644
Genre : Nature
File Size : 60. 53 MB
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The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way. Her work is both timeless and timely, and spans disciplines, continents, and millennia. It is underscored by an innate environmentalism and driven by Sussman’s relentless curiosity. She begins at “year zero,” and looks back from there, photographing the past in the present. These ancient individuals live on every continent and range from Greenlandic lichens that grow only one centimeter a century, to unique desert shrubs in Africa and South America, a predatory fungus in Oregon, Caribbean brain coral, to an 80,000-year-old colony of aspen in Utah. Sussman journeyed to Antarctica to photograph 5,500-year-old moss; Australia for stromatolites, primeval organisms tied to the oxygenation of the planet and the beginnings of life on Earth; and to Tasmania to capture a 43,600-year-old self-propagating shrub that’s the last individual of its kind. Her portraits reveal the living history of our planet—and what we stand to lose in the future. These ancient survivors have weathered millennia in some of the world’s most extreme environments, yet climate change and human encroachment have put many of them in danger. Two of her subjects have already met with untimely deaths by human hands. Alongside the photographs, Sussman relays fascinating – and sometimes harrowing – tales of her global adventures tracking down her subjects and shares insights from the scientists who research them. The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.

Feeding Relationships

Author : Ann Fullick
ISBN : 1403475210
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 74. 99 MB
Format : PDF
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Explores the complex connections in food chains and webs by examining the roles of producers, consumers, predators, and decomposers.

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