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New book: The Balance of Nature and Human Impact

A new book, dealing with effects of climate change, habitat destruction and fragmentation, and invasive species, will be published by Cambridge University Press early next year. I am the editor and about 30 leading scientists from around the world have contributed chapters. A further 20 have contributed by reviewing chapters.

Some examples of chapters are: physics of climate, effects of climate change on Arctic vegetation, amphibian decline, the futures of coral reefs, emerging infectious diseases, effects of climate change on insect populations, alternative stable states of plant communities, the mathematics of species invasions, effects of climate change on North American and Australian birds, and a concluding chapter dealing with measures necessary to conserve biodiversity.

Details can be found here:

http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6964672/The%20Balance%20of%20Nature%20and%20Human%20Impact/?site_locale=en_GB

Here are some excerpts from the book:

“It is clear that nature is undergoing rapid changes as a result of human activities such as industry, agriculture, travel, fisheries and urbanisation. What effects do these activities have? Are they disturbing equilibria in ecological populations and communities, thus upsetting the balance of nature, or are they enhancing naturally occurring disequilibria, perhaps with even worse consequences? It is often argued that large-scale fluctuations in climate and sea-levels have occurred over and over again in the geological past, long before human activities could possibly have had any impact, and that human effects are very small compared to those that occur naturally. Should we conclude that human activity cannot significantly affect the environment, or are these naturally occurring fluctuations actually being dangerously enhanced by humans? This book examines these questions, first by providing evidence for equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions in relatively undisturbed ecosystems, and second by examining human-induced effects.”

Contents:

“Preface
Introduction Klaus Rohde
Part I. Nonequilibrium and Equilibrium in Populations and Metapopulations: 1. Reef fishes: density dependence and equilibrium in populations? Graham Forrester and Mark Steele
2. Population dynamics of ectoparasites of terrestrial hosts Boris Krasnov and Annapaola Rizzoli
3. Metapopulation dynamics in marine parasites Ana Perez del Omo, Aneta Kostadinova and Serge Morand

Part II. Nonequilibrium and Equilibrium in Communities:
4. The paradox of the plankton Klaus Rohde
5. A burning issue: community stability and alternative stable states in relation to fire Peter J. Clarke and Mike J. Lawes
6. Community stability and instability in ectoparasites of marine and freshwater fish Andrea Simkova and Klaus Rohde
7. Ectoparasites of small mammals: interactive saturated and unsaturated communities Boris Krasnov
8. A macroecological approach to the equilibrial vs. nonequilibrial debate using bird populations and communities Brian McGill

Part III. Equilibrium and Nonequilibrium on Geographical Scales:
9. Island flora and fauna: equilibrium and nonequilibrium Lloyd Morrison
10. The turbulent past and future of arctic vascular plants: climate change, spatial variation, and genetic diversity Christian Brochmann, Mary E. Edwards and Inger G. Alsos

Part IV. Latitudinal Gradients:
11. Latitudinal diversity gradients: equilibrium and nonequilibrium explanations Klaus Rohde
12. Effective evolutionary time and the latitudinal diversity gradient Len Gillman and Shane Wright

Part V. Effects Due to Invading Species, Habitat Loss and Climate Change:
13. The physics of climate: equilibrium, disequilibrium and chaos Michael Box
14. Episodic processes, invasion and faunal mosaics in evolutionary and ecological time Eric Hoberg and Daniel R. Brooks
15. The emerging infectious diseases crisis and pathogen pollution Daniel R. Brooks and Eric Hoberg
16. Establishment or vanishing: fate of an invasive species based on mathematical models Yihong Du
17. Anthropogenic footprints on biodiversity Camilo Mora and Fernando Zapata
18. Worldwide decline and extinction of amphibians Harold Heatwole
19. Climatic change and reptiles Harvey B. Lillywhite
20. Equilibrium and non-equilibrium in Australian bird communities – the impact of natural and anthropogenic effects Hugh Ford
21. Population dynamics of insects: impacts of a changing climate Nigel Andrew
22. The futures of coral reefs Peter Sale

Part VI. Autecological Studies:
23. Autecology and the balance of nature-ecological laws and human induced invasions Gimme Walter
24. The intricacy of structural and ecological adaptations: micromorphology and ecology of some Aspidogastrea Klaus Rohde

Part VII. An Overall View:
25. The importance of interspecific competition in regulating communities, equilibrium vs. nonequilibrium Klaus Rohde
26. Evolutionarily stable strategies: how common are they? Klaus Rohde
27. How to conserve biodiversity in a nonequilibrium world Klaus Rohde, Hugh Ford, Nigel R. Andrew and Harold Heatwole

Index.”

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