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It is imperative that we engage again with the patterns of nature, but this time, with awareness of our impact as a species. How will burgeoning human populations affect the health of ecosystems? Is loss of species simply a regrettable byproduct of human expansion? Or is the planet passing into a new epoch in just a few human generations?
Nature and Human Society presents a wide-ranging exploration of these and other fundamental questions about our relationship with the environment. This book features findings, insights, and informed speculations from key figures in the field: E.O. Wilson, Thomas Lovejoy, Peter H. Raven, Gretchen Daily, David Suzuki, Norman Myers, Paul Erlich, Michael Bean, and many others.
This volume explores the accelerated extinction of species and what we stand to lose--medicines, energy sources, crop pollination and pest control, the ability of water and soil to renew itself through biological processes, aesthetic and recreational benefits--and how these losses may be felt locally and acutely.
What are the specific threats to biodiversity? The book explores human population growth, the homogenization of biota as a result in tourism and trade, and other factors, including the social influences of law, religious belief, and public education.
Do we have the tools to protect biodiversity? The book looks at molecular genetics, satellite data, tools borrowed from medicine, and other scientific techniques to firm up our grasp of important processes in biology and earth science, including the "new" science of conservation biology.
Nature and Human Society helps us renew our understanding and appreciation for natural patterns, with surprising details about microorganisms, nematodes, and other overlooked forms of life: their numbers, pervasiveness, and importance to the health of the soil, water, and air and to a host of human endeavors.
This book will be of value to anyone who believes that the world's gross natural product is as important as the world's gross national product.
|Barriers to Perception: From a World of Interconnection to Fragmentation||11|
|The Creation of Biodiversity||22|
|The Dimensions of Life on Earth||30|
|The Sixth Extinction: How Large, How Soon, and Where?||46|
|The Meaning of Biodiversity Loss||63|
|The Loss of Population Diversity and Why It Matters||71|
|Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of Marine Biodiversity: How Healthy Is It?||84|
|Countryside Biogeography and the Provision of Ecosystem Services||104|
|Microbial Diversity and the Biosphere||117|
|Biodiversity, Classification, and Numbers of Species of Protists||130|
|Estimating the Extent of Fungal Diversity in the Tropics||156|
|Nematodes: Pervading the Earth and Linking All Life||176|
|Global Diversity of Mites||192|
|Biodiversity of Terrestrial Invertebrates in Tropical Africa: Assessing the Needs and Plan of Action||204|
|Global Diversity of Insects: The Problems of Estimating Numbers||213|
|The World Beneath Our Feet: Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning||225|
|Natural Investment in Diversity: The Role of Biological Communities in Soil||242|
|Conservation Biology and the Preservation of Biodiversity: An Assessment||255|
|Conservation Genetics: Applying Molecular Methods of Maximize the Conservation of Taxonomic and Genetic Diversity||264|
|Application of Geospatial Information for Identifying Priority Areas for Biodiversity Conservation||276|
|Hawaii Biological Survey: Museum Resources In Support of Conservation||281|
|Building the Next-Generation Biological-Information Infrastructure||291|
|Nature Displaced: Human Population Trends and Projections and Their Meanings||303|
|Population Growth, Sustainable Development, and the Environment||315|
|Nonindigenous Species: A Global Threat to Biodiversity and Stability||325|
|Science and the Public Trust in a Full World: Function and Dysfunction in Science and the Biosphere||337|
|The Response of the International Scientific Community to the Challenge of Biodiversity||347|
|The Millenium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew||358|
|Charting the Biosphere: Building Global Capacity for Systematics Science||374|
|Science and Technology in the Convention on Biological Diversity||387|
|Ecology and the Knowledge Revolution||398|
|Biodiversity: A World Bank Perspective||413|
|Creating Cultural Diversity: Tropical Forests Transformed||420|
|Endangered Plants, Vanishing Cultures: Ethnobotany and Conservation||435|
|Religion and Sustainability||443|
|Reaching the Public: The Challenge of Communicating Biodiversity||455|
|Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC): A New Multi-Institutional Partnership to Prepare the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders||462|
|Linking Science and Policy: A Research Agenda for Colombian Biodiversity||483|
|Sustainability and the Law: An Assessment of the Endangered Species Act||493|
|Government Policy and Sustainability of Biodiversity in Costa Rica||500|
|National Security, National Interest, and Sustainability||506|
|Biodiversity and Organizing for Sustainability in the United States Government||514|
|How to Grow a Wildland: The Gardenification of Nature||521|
|Measures to Conserve Biodiversity in Sustainable Forestry: The Rio Condor Project||530|
|Chemical Prospecting: The New Natural History||543|
|Conservation Medicine: An Emerging Field||551|
|How Countries with Limited Resources Are Dealing with Biodiversity Problems||557|
|Biodiversity and Sustainable Human Development: The Costa Rican Agenda||573|
|The National Biodiversity Information System of Mexico||586|
|Community Involvement and Sustainability: The Malpai Borderlands Effort||596|