Ecological thought

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  • The contemporary debate about the nature of human nature, centering around the implications of Darwin’s theory of evolution, is the newest chapter in a long history of explorations. Confl icting ideas about human nature have always sat at the core of philosophical debates, often educational ones. Plato and Aristotle, for example, had differing views on human nature, and thus different approaches to educational philosophy.1 So too did Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume and Rousseau

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  • First and foremost, it is a book geared towards fish aquarists. And it is a heavy read with alot of chemistry and biology. To sum up the book: the author wrote the book to bring it to the reader's attention that an aquarium is a sort of (semi)closed ecosystem, and it needs to be thought of as this in order to be successful in raising the plants and animals inside the aquarium. she then describes the biological principles behind her methods of setting up and maintaining "low-tech" planted aquariums (as opposed to hi-tech, like those of takashi amano). She uses...

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  • My start with ecological risk assessment at the regional scale began with the evaluation of risks within the fjord of Port Valdez, Alaska. I initially thought that the process was going to be very straightforward. The USEPA had produced a framework document and there were published case studies.

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  • The science of ecology and the practice of management are critical to our understanding of the Earth’s ecosystems and our efforts to conserve them. This book attempts to bridge the gap between ecology and natural resource management and, in particular, focuses on the discipline of plant ecology as a foundation for vegetation and wildlife management. It describes how concepts and approaches used by ecologists to study communities and ecosystems can be applied to their management. Guy R.

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  • This book follows in the footsteps of two previous efforts—Snakes: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (1987) and Snakes: Ecology and Behavior (1993)—to provide established and new researchers with a current synopsis of snake ecology. In the preface to each of these earlier works, one of us (R. A. S.) admitted that he had erred in assuming that another “Biology of the Serpentes” book was not worth tackling. And after the fi rst two books, we thought that perhaps yet another book was not needed—we were wrong again.

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  • THOUGHTFUL OBSERVERS of global ecosystems cannot fail to see that we live in a world dominated by humans.We cannot stand apart from nature, and now nature as we know it cannot stand apart from us. Faced with dawning clarity about this new relationship, we are uncertain of what to do.

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  • This book benefited tremendously from the input, support, and feedback of many people, and we greatly appreciate their time and efforts. Armando Carbonell of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy suggested that we write the book, secured support from the Lincoln Institute, and was deeply helpful at every stage of the book’s development. Ann LeRoyer and Lisa Cloutier of the Lincoln Institute provided thoughtful suggestions and were especially helpful in bringing the book to fruition.

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  • Information gathered from the remaining intact tropical habitats might seem to deserve special treatment, for such data can be thought to represent precise, finely tuned biological interrelationships. Their evolutionary reason for existence might be revealed simply in their current ecology. Tropical data in general are often deemed more significant than comparable data taken in other habitats. Like the first-mentioned bias, this belief can encourage creative speculation, but sometimes it diminishes the accuracy with which the actual setting of a field study is examined or described....

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  • Many environmental books begin with a desperate attempt to convince us that we are either not sufficiently aware of the problems facing us or are not acting effectively to correct them. This one takes a different approach. I presume that everyone who picks up this book is doing so because they are searching for a better path, away from the problems and also from the habits of thinking that make those problems so intractable in the first place. You would be unlikely to turn to this book if you thought all was well....

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  • The “Present Your Perspective on an Issue” section of the test assesses your ability to think critically about a topic of general interest and to clearly express your thoughts about it in writing. Each topic, presented in quotation marks, makes a claim about an issue that test takers can discuss from various perspectives and apply to many different situations or conditions. Your task is to present a compelling case for your own position on the issue. The best approach to this task is read the topic carefully.

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  • When I was asked by Timber Press to write a new book on resins, including amber—Howes’s 1949 Vegetable Gums and Resins was the most recent such effort—the breadth of interdisciplinary coverage seemed too ambitious for an individual person. There have been so many advances in resin research in the past half century, including the development of new fields of research such as chemical ecology, and the exploration of other interesting facets about resins made possible by new chemical, molecular, and microscopic techniques.

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  • This guide consists of thirteen chapters, covering twelve steps in the writing process. Each of these twelve steps can be thought of as taking five minutes in a typical one-hour writing job. Therefore, they are numbered from 12 to 12, like the numbers on the face of a clock.

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  • Simply put, this book is about how nature is ‘done’, how it is practised, how it materializes as an active partner in and through those practices. Perhaps, unlike many other volumes, I am not especially concerned here with how nature is imagined, represented, thought or conceived. Rather, imagining, representing and thinking are treated as activities which take their place alongside many other practices (like growing, infecting, digging, counting), some of which do not have people at their centre. This last point is crucial.

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  • France holds a rather unusual position in the field of evolutionary biology. Whereas French naturalists from Buffon, Cuvier and Lamarck onwards made great discoveries in centuries past, French biologists missed the turning when it came to genetics. Until the 1970s, most French biologists were convinced that genetics was not as interesting as developmental science (some "rare species", for example R. Chandebois, still hold this view). For them, the general principles of heredity resided in the cytoplasm rather than in the genome.

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  • I often enjoy my lunch at a small café named Holly Berry’s. It’s one of those places where people quickly know your name, at least your first name, where congeniality and food are offered with equal gusto. I was talking to Jack, who most folks would describe as a cook until they taste his food, at which point he’d be better described as a chef. Jack asked me if I was writing a book while on sabbatical and I said that I was, one about the concept of the balance of nature. Jack allowed as to how he had not given a great deal of thought to the...

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  • An ecosystem is a group of animals and plants living in a specific region and interacting with one another and with their physical environment. Ecosystems include physical and chemical components, such as soils, water, and nutrients that support the organisms living there. These organisms may range from large animals to microscopic bacteria. Ecosystems also can be thought of as the interactions among all organisms in a given habitat; for instance, one species may serve as food for another. People are part of the ecosystems where they live and work.

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  • Overharvesting has led to severe reductions in the abundance and range of nearly every large vertebrate species that humans have ever found worth pursuing. These megafaunal reductions, dating in some cases from first contact with early peoples (Martin 1973), are widely known. In contrast, remarkably little is known about the ecological consequences of megafaunal extirpations. Whales and whaling are part of that legacy. Most people know that large whales have been depleted, but little thought has been given to how the depletions may have influenced ocean ecosystems.

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  • T he impetus to produce this book came in a brief phone call in 1998. Chuck Crumly, of Academic Press, called with an invitation and a deadline. Either The Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs, published in 1991, would be allowed to lapse into out-of-print status, or I would agree to produce a second edition. Looking back on all the work, I suspect it might have been wiser to say, "Let her lapse." But I didn't.

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  • Conversely, modern biological sciences (including even concepts such as molecular ecology) are intimately entwined and dependent on the methods developed through biotechnology and what is commonly thought of as the life sciences industry.

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  • We now live in a world where more intense weather, patterns of droughts and floods are becoming commonplace, as are overexploited fish stocks, destroyed forests and dried up rivers. The era of post-war consumerism, where humanity lived in a world rich in resources that were thought boundless, is closing as ecological limits become apparent around the world. We have to face the fact that our consumption of everyday products has a global impact....

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