The Natural History of Madagascar

Overview


Separated from the mainland of Africa for 160 million years, Madagascar has evolved an incredible wealth of biodiversity, with thousands of species that can be found nowhere else on earth. For instance, of its estimated 12,000 plant species, nearly 10,000 are unique to Madagascar. Malagasy animals are just as spectacular, from its almost forty currently recognized species of lemurs—a primate group found only here—to the numerous species of tiny dwarf chameleons. With astounding frequency scientists discover a ...
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Overview


Separated from the mainland of Africa for 160 million years, Madagascar has evolved an incredible wealth of biodiversity, with thousands of species that can be found nowhere else on earth. For instance, of its estimated 12,000 plant species, nearly 10,000 are unique to Madagascar. Malagasy animals are just as spectacular, from its almost forty currently recognized species of lemurs—a primate group found only here—to the numerous species of tiny dwarf chameleons. With astounding frequency scientists discover a previously unknown species in Madagascar—and at almost the same rate another natural area of habitat is degraded or destroyed, a combination that recently led conservation organizations to name Madagascar one of the most important and threatened conservation priorities on the planet.

The Natural History of Madagascar provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date synthesis available of this island nation's priceless biological treasures. Contributions by nearly three hundred world-renowned experts cover the history of scientific exploration in Madagascar, its geology and soils, climate, forest ecology, human ecology, marine and coastal ecosystems, plants, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Detailed discussions of conservation efforts in Madagascar highlight several successful park reserve programs that could serve as models for other areas. Beautifully illustrated throughout, the book includes over one hundred color illustrations, with fifty color photos by nature photographer Harald Schütz, as well as more than three hundred black-and-white photographs and line drawings.

The Natural History of Madagascar will be the invaluable reference for anyone interested in the Malagasy environment, from biologists and conservationists to policymakers and ecotourists.

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Editorial Reviews

BBC Wildlife Magazine

"The most thorough and comprehensive account of the natural history of Madagascar yet, and it will set the standard for many years to come."
New Scientist - Adrian Barnett

"Sprinkled with colour photographs, The Natural History of Madagascar is an extraordinary compendium, complete and complex. Steven Goodman and Jonathan Benstead cover geological and human histories, as well as all major groups of animals and plants. . . . The introductory chapters for each of the major taxonomic groups will help to guide the novice reader into the glories and safely past the specialist shoals. . . . This wonderful book provides a magnificent overview of one of the strangest and most glorious chunks of the planet--a place that is so much more than a load of old lemurs."
Chicago Reader - Harold Henderson

". . . spectacular images . . ."
The New York Times - Carol Kaesuk Yoon

"In The Natural History of Madagascar researchers have captured the recent explosion of scientific knowledge about the unique organisms of this rugged island. In 1,700 pages, the book moves from the broad brush strokes of the island's geological history to detailed accounts of its organisms, including its famous aye-aye lemurs, its fantastical baobab trees, and its twelve-foot-tall elephant bird."
Nature - Tim Flannery

"For those who are serious about getting to know this fascinating island, there is no better resource than The Natural History of Madagascar.  It is the closest thing to a comprehensive natural history of the region ever produced."
Quarterly Review of Biology - Summer J. Arrigo-Nelson

"Given the severe threats facing the survival of Madagascar's biodiversity, this book could not have come at a better time. . . . Its accessible language and thorough coverage of the topics, in combination with its affordable price, ensures that The Natural History of Madagascar will become an indispensable resource and educational tool for all those with an interest in Madagascar."
Science

"A scientific milestone and by far the largest synthesis of tropical biology research ever."
Economist

"A vast and comprehensive work that will be a key reference on the country's biodiversity for years to come. It will also stand testament to the future efforts of conservationists to protect the island's unique natural heritage."
Plant Systematics and Evolution - Peter V. Bruyns

"For anyone interested in the botany of Madagascar, I would strongly recommend this book. It contains a vast amount of information on the flora of the island and is also a major source of references to literature on the Madagascan flora."
Biological Conservation - Sandra Knapp

"As a resource . . . it stands alone. . . . This is no neo-colonial view of the island, but a modern, integrated--both biologically and culturally--look at one of the most fascinating places on Earth. . . . The book is copiously illustrated with stunning colour photographs. . . . Every scientist concerned with diversity should have this book on their shelves."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226303079
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2007
  • Pages: 1728
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Steven M. Goodman is a field biologist at the Field Museum of Natural History and a coordinator of the ecology training program at the WWF-Madagascar. He is coeditor of Natural Changes and Human Impact in Madagascar. Jonathan P. Benstead is a postdoctoral scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole.
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Table of Contents


Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations and Acronyms Used in the Text
Points on Format and Presentation

1. History of Scientific Exploration
F. Andriamialisoa and O. Langrand
The History of Zoological Exploration of Madagascar
References

2. Geology and Soils
N. A. Wells
Some Hypotheses on the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Paleoenvironmental History of Madagascar
J. J. Flynn and A. R. Wyss
Mesozoic Terrestrial Vertebrate Faunas: The Early History of Madagascar's Vertebrate Diversity
D. W. Krause
Late Cretaceous Vertebrates of Madagascar: A Window into Gondwanan Biogeography at the End of the Age of Dinosaurs
D. A. Burney
Madagascar's Prehistoric Ecosystems
D. J. Du Puy and J. Moat
Using Geological Substrate to Identify and Map Primary Vegetation Types in Madagascar and the Implications for Planning Biodiversity Conservation
References

3. Climates
M. R. Jury
The Climate of Madagascar
References

4. Forest Ecology
J. -M. Dufils
Remaining Forest Cover
L. Cournac, M. A. Dubois, and B. Riera
Rapid Methods for Characterizing Forest Structure in Madagascar
R. C. de Gouvenain and J. A. Silander Jr.
Littoral Forest
References

5. Human Ecology
H. T. Wright and J. A. Rakotoarisoa
The Rise of Malagasy Societies: New Developments in the Archaeology of Madagascar
R. E. Dewar
Relationship between Human Ecological Pressure and the Vertebrate Extinctions
P. Kistler and S. Spack
Comparing Agricultural Systems in Two Areas of Madagascar
T. K. Erdmann
The Dilemma of Reducing Shifting Cultivation
K. Schoonmaker Freudenberger
The Fianarantsoa-East Coast Railroad and Its Role in Eastern Forest Conservation
J. Durbin, K. Bernard, and M. Fenn
The Role of Socioeconomic Factors in Loss of Malagasy Biodiversity
N. Rabesahala Horning
How Rules Affect Conservation Outcomes
C. A. Kull
Fire and the Management of Highland Vegetation
J. -M. Duplantier and J. -B. Duchemin
Human Diseases and Introduced Small Mammals
F. Ariey, M. Randrianarivelojosia, L. J. Sahondra Harisoa, and L. Raharimalala
Malaria
D. Rousset and M. R. Andrianarivelo
Viruses
References

6. Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
A. Cooke, J. R. E. Lutjeharms, and P. Vasseur
Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
E. Roger and M. Andrianasolo
Mangroves and Salt Marshes
R. Ratsimbazafy
Sea Turtles
H. C. Rosenbaum
Marine Mammals
H. C. Rosenbaum
Megaptera novaeangliae
Humpback Whale
References

7. Plants
L. Gautier and S. M. Goodman
Introduction to the Flora of Madagascar
H. L. Andrianasetra Ranarijaona
Aquatic and Semiaquatic Vascular Plants
P. Binggeli
Introduced and Invasive Plants
B. Simmen, A. Hladik, C. M. Hladik, and P. Ramasiarisoa
Occurrence of Alkaloids and Phenolics in Malagasy Forests and Responses by Primates
J. Ratsirarson and J. A. Silander Jr.
Pollination Ecology of Plant Communities in the Dry Forests of the Southwest
S. A. Spaulding and J. P. Kociolek
Bacillariophyceae, Freshwater Diatoms
F. Rakotondrainibe
Diversity, Ecology, and Distribution of the Pteridophyte Flora
F. Rakotondrainibe
Checklist to the Pteridophytes
L. B. Thien, C. R. Birkinshaw, R. Andriamparany, E. Rabakonandrianina, and G. E. Schatz
Winteraceae, Takhtajania perrieri
A. Le Thomas and G. Aymonin
Annonaceae
H. Sauquet
Myristicaceae
A. Dalecky, C. Kerdelhué, S. Johnson, V. R. Razafindratsita, C. Grassi, A. C. Razafiarimalala, D. J. Overdorff, and J. -Y. Rasplus
Moraceae, Ficus and Associated Fauna
P. Binggeli
Cactaceae, Opuntia spp., Prickly Pear
D. A. Baum
Bombacaceae, Adansonia
L. Gautier
Sapotaceae
J. -N. Labat and J. Moat
Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
L. J. Dorr
Baudouinia rouxevillei
F. Almeda
Melastomataceae, Princess Flowers
P. Hoffmann and G. McPherson
Euphorbiaceae--Overview
T. Haevermans
Euphorbia
W. S. Armbruster and B. G. Baldwin
Pollination and Evolution of Euphorb Vines in Madagascar
C. A. Kull
Uapaca Woodlands
A. Randrianasolo
Anacardiaceae
M. E. Rahelivololona, E. Fischer, and S. Wohlhauser
Balsaminaceae
S. Wohlhauser, P. Küpfer, and Y. -M. Yuan
Gentianaceae
P. Binggeli
Verbenaceae, Lantana camara
E. Fischer
Scrophulariaceae
M. Möller
Gesneriaceae
M. L. Zjhra
Bignoniaceae: Phylogenetics and Evolution of Pollination Systems
A. Davis and D. Bridson
Introduction to the Rubiaceae
S. Razafimandimbison
Breonia and Related Genera (Tribe Naucleeae)
S. E. Dawson
Carphalea (Tribe Hedyotideae)
A. Davis
Coffea (Tribe Coffeeae)
P. De Block
Coptosperma and Related Genera (Tribe Pavetteae)
A. Davis and F. Rakotonasolo
Gardenia and Related Genera (Tribe Gardenieae Subtribe Gardeniinae)
P. De Block
Ixora (Tribe Ixoreae)
S. Razafimandimbison
Mussaenda and Related Genera (Tribe Mussaendeae)
P. De Block
Paederia (Tribe Paederieae)
A. Davis
Psychotria and Related Genera (Tribe Psychotrieae)
A. Davis and D. Bridson
Vangueria and Related Genera (Tribe Vanguerieae)
J. Dransfield and H. Beentje
Arecaceae, Palms
J. Ratsirarson
Dypsis decaryi, Triangle Palm
M. W. Callmander and M. O. Laivao
Pandanaceae, Pandanus
S. Dransfield
Poaceae, Bambuseae, Bamboos
P. Blanc, A. Hladik, N. Rabenandrianina, J. S. Robert, and C. M. Hladik
Strelitziaceae: The Variants of Ravenala in Natural and Anthropogenic Habitats
P. Binggeli
Pontederiaceae, Eichhornia crassipes, Water Hyacinth
References

8. Invertebrates
R. Paulian and P. Viette
An Introduction to Terrestrial and Freshwater Invertebrates
J. -M. Elouard and F. -M. Gibon
Ecology of Aquatic Invertebrates
R. Dolch
Insect-Plant Interactions: Their Importance for Biodiversity and Ecological Functioning
C. C. D. Tingle, A. N. McWilliam, S. Rafanomezana, M. L. Rakotondravelo, and H. Rakotondrasoa
The Fauna of Savanna Grasslands in the Locus Outbreak Area in Southwestern Madagascar
T. A. Pearce
Gastropoda, Terrestrial Snails
W. R. Lurenço
Scorpiones, Scorpions
C. E. Griswold
Araneae, Spiders
H. Klompen
Ixodida, Ticks
B. M. OConnor
Acariformes: Parasitic and Commensal Mites of Vertebrates
J. W. Short and E. Doumenq
Atyidae and Palaemonidae, Freshwater Shrimps
K. A. Crandall
Parastacidae, Astacoides, Freshwater Crayfishes
N. Cumberlidge and R. v. Sternberg
Potamonautidae, Freshwater Crabs
H. Enghoff
Diplopoda, Millipedes
J. -M. Betsch
Collembola, Springtails
J. -M. Elouard, J. -L. Gattolliat, and M. Sartori
Ephemeroptera, Mayflies
T. W. Donnelly and M. J. Parr
Odonata, Dragonflies and Damselflies
P. Eggleton and R. Davies
Isoptera, Termites
J. -M. Elouard
Plecoptera, Stoneflies
N. D. Penny
Megaloptera, Fishflies and Alderflies
N. D. Penny
Neuroptera, Lacewings
F. Cassola
Coleoptera: Cicindelidae, Tiger Beetles (Studies of Tiger Beetles CXI)
L. Andriamampianina
Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae: Tribe Enariini, Scarab Beetles
J. -B. Duchemin, J. Ratovonjato, and J. -M. Duplantier
Siphonaptera, Fleas
M. E. Irwin, E. I. Schlinger, and F. C. Thompson
Diptera, True Flies
G. W. Courtney

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