Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function

Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function

by Chris Maser, Andrew W Claridge, James M Trappe
     
 

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ISBN-10: 081354226X

ISBN-13: 9780813542263

Pub. Date: 12/28/2007

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

In today's world of specialization, people are attempting to protect the Earth's fragile state by swapping limousines for hybrids and pesticide-laced foods for organic produce. At other times, environmental awareness is translated into public relations gimmicks or trendy commodities. Moreover, simplistic policies, like single-species protection or planting

Overview

In today's world of specialization, people are attempting to protect the Earth's fragile state by swapping limousines for hybrids and pesticide-laced foods for organic produce. At other times, environmental awareness is translated into public relations gimmicks or trendy commodities. Moreover, simplistic policies, like single-species protection or planting ten trees for every tree cut down, are touted as bureaucratic or industrial panaceas.

Because today's decisions are tomorrow's consequences, every small effort makes a difference, but a broader understanding of our environmental problems is necessary to the development of sustainable ecosystem policies. In Trees, Truffles, and Beasts, Chris Maser, Andrew W. Claridge, and James M. Trappe make a compelling case that we must first understand the complexity and interdependency of species and habitats from the microscopic level to the gigantic. Comparing forests in the Pacific Northwestern United States and Southeastern mainland of Australia, the authors show how easily observable species—trees and mammals—are part of a complicated infrastructure that includes fungi, lichens, and organisms invisible to the naked eye, such as microbes.

Eminently readable, this important book shows that forests are far more complicated than most of us might think, which means simplistic policies will not save them. Understanding the biophysical intricacies of our life-support systems just might.

 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813542263
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
794,793
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   Charles J. Krebs     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     1
The Scope of This Book, from the Microlevel to Infinity     1
Forests Are a Study in Complexity     4
Soil Is Every Forest's Foundation     6
People and Forests Are Inseparable     9
The Forest We See     14
Composition, Structure, and Function     15
Pacific Northwestern United States versus Southeastern Mainland Australia     17
The Unseen Forest     35
The Genesis of Soil     35
Physical Weathering     36
Chemical Weathering     36
The Addition of Organic Material to Mineral Soil     37
The Living Community within the Soil     38
The Nitrogen Fixers     40
Scavengers, the Recyclers in the Soil     43
The Environment Is a Seamless Whole     45
Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: Coevolution in Action     50
In the Beginning     50
Mycorrhizae Enter the Scene     51
Fungal Nourishment: Decomposition and Symbiosis     55
Global Diversification of Organisms, Unification of Functions     60
Host Specificity and Forest Succession     61
Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: Spore Dispersal through Mycophagy     67
Of Animals and Fungi     75
Obligate Mycophagists     76
Preferential Mycophagists     79
Casual or Opportunistic Mycophagists     85
Accidental Mycophagists     88
Preferences in Fungal Diets     89
Invertebrate Mycophagists     90
The Importance of Mycophagy     92
The Fungal Feast: Nutritional Rewards of Mycophagy     92
Macroelements     94
Microelements     94
Proteins and Amino Acids     95
Carbohydrates     95
Fats and Fatty Acids     96
Vitamins     96
Nutrient Availability, Symbiosis, and Digestive Strategy     97
Truffle Diversity, the Key to Mycophagist Nutrition     100
Ecosystem Services of Mycophagy     100
Mycophagy Interactions with Soil Moisture     101
Mycophagy Initiates and Maintains Truffle Diversity     102
Landscape Patterns and Fire     105
Landscape Patterns     105
The Role of Fire in Forests     110
Fire in the Western United States     111
Fire in Southeastern Mainland Australia      121
Lessons from Byadbo, Mount St. Helens, Omeo, and Beyond     134
The Mycorrhizal Response to Disturbance     137
The Role of Spore Dispersal by Mycophagy     139
Emulating Fire Patterns     142
Forest Succession and Habitat Dynamics     145
Developmental Stages of the Forest     146
Autogenic Succession above Ground     146
Autogenic Succession below Ground     152
The Dynamics of Habitat     154
Food     155
Water     155
Shelter     156
Privacy     157
Space     157
Landscape Patterns     159
United States     161
Australia     162
Humankind's Fragmentation     163
Equality among Species     173
Of Lifestyles and Shared Habitats     175
A Glimpse of Two U.S. Forests     175
A Glimpse of Two Australian Forests     190
Ecological Services of Mycophagous Mammals     202
The Fungal Connection     203
The Fruit-Body Connection     203
The Squirrel Connection     203
The Pellet Connection     204
Mycophagy as a Basis of Infrastructural Relationships     206
Putting It All Together     207
Partitioning Habitat in the United States     207
Partitioning Habitat in Australia     213
Partitioning Food in the United States     217
Partitioning Food in Australia     221
Temporal Segregation in the United States     221
Temporal Segregation in Australia     221
The Importance of Ecological "Backups"     223
Lessons from the Trees, the Truffles, and the Beasts     225
Shifting Our Focus     227
Products and Biological Capital     228
North American Common and Scientific Names     233
Australian Common and Scientific Names     237
Notes     241
Glossary     259
Index     267

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