VOYAThis review was written and published to address Deserts and Wetlands, two comprehensive references in the Ecosystem series. These are welcome additions to interdisciplinary resources, particularly for teachers. Global maps, charts, and other illustrations truly are superb. Deserts is the more readable of the two and will attract a wider audience than Wetlands. It is particularly strong relating the historical significance of the desert in migration and trade routes as well as describing modern desert peoples. Graphics and text explain ocean currents, circulation of the atmosphere, plate tectonics, and Milankovich cycles as part of the desert phenomenon. Global warming is presented in an objective and low-key manner. The strength of Wetlands is in describing food webs and biological diversity in a variety of wetland communities. There is considerable explanation of mires and bogs with an including concern over peat depletion caused by horticultural use in the United States and Europe. Both volumes incorporate geology, chemistry, biology, and geography in different chapters to explain how deserts or wetlands have developed, dynamic processes in current deserts or wetlands, their significance in history and economics, and current management of wetlands or deserts. All teachers in natural sciences or geography certainly should have access to these very important volumes. Older students might find these resources preferable to encyclopedias for research. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. 2001, Facts on File, 200p. PLB Ages 15 to Adult. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Children's Literature - Greg M. RomaneckHave you ever visited a wetland and simply taken some time to look and listen. If you have you probably experienced a wide range of life as it surrounded you. Red wing blackbirds may have settled onto the tips of reeds and issued their three-note call. Mallard ducks may have cruised across open water ponds, always on the lookout for hawks above. Muskrats may have emerged with plant materials hanging from their mouths. Mosquitoes, flies, and other insects probably circled around you. Blue herons or egrets might have patiently stalked their prey along the shallows. Life in many forms embraces you if you spend time in a wetland. It is this biome that author Peter D. Moore addresses in this illustrated science title. This book is part of the "Biomes of the Earth" series. As is typical of other books in this series this title combines sound scholarship, fine writing, colorful illustrations, and an environmental focus. This is a fine book, one that offers youngsters a solid introduction to one of the major ecosystems in the world.
VOYA - Rayna PattonEach book in this ten-volume series considers the range, geography, geology, biodiversity, history, and uses of the biome and its possible future. There is no comprehensive index for the set, which limits the connection of various topics across the entire series. The information provided is quite extensive and inclusive and is enhanced with well-chosen color photographs, maps, and charts. Three authors are individually responsible for writing different books while conforming to the series guidelines. This series is designed to encourage interest in and concern for the natural world that sustains all. Wetlands is written by an experienced scientist and lecturer at King's College, London. As might be expected, it is a wonderful introduction to a fascinating and important subject. Wetlands worldwide are among the planet's most threatened ecosystems. The author provides a large amount of information on how wetlands form, where they are most common, the species diversity they support, the ways they have been used (and abused) by humans, and inevitably, the many threats that wetlands face around the world. Along with more familiar wetland types, American students may be surprised to find themselves learning about fens and mires, beloved of English literature but not household words in the United States. But the book makes no mention of vernal pools, commonly found in American woodlands in the spring, with their rich diversity of life. In general though, this excellent and detailed overview of the topic will appeal especially to more advanced students. Other books in the series discuss agricultural and urban areas, deserts, grasslands, lakes and rivers, Taiga, temperate forests, tropicalforests, and tundra.
BooknewsMoore (ecology, Kings's College London) stresses that wetlands, comprised of diverse habitats from Arctic tundra to tropical swamps, are a global resource and responsibility. This well- illustrated volume explores their multiple dimensions: geography, geology, role in the oxygen-carbon cycle, chemistry, biology, biodiversity, history, economics, health, management, and precarious future. Includes handsome color photos and graphics, a glossary of ecological terms, and appendix on geological periods. Suitable for high school and college students and general readers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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