World Atlas of Biodiversity: Earth's Living Resources in the 21st Century / Edition 1

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The World Atlas of Biodiversity is an updated edition of Global Biodiversity: Status of the Earth's Living Resources, originally published in 1992 and reissued in 2000 as Global Biodiversity: Earth's living resources in the 21st Century. This 2002 edition, totally redesigned and updated, includes new data and graphics, additional photos, and additional material on food issues and biodiversity, as well as an entirely new chapter on protected areas and other conservation issues.

World Atlas of Biodiversity addresses the remarkable growth in concern at all levels for living things and the environment, and increased appreciation of the links between the state of ecosystems and the state of humankind. Building on a wealth of research and analysis by the conservation community worldwide, this book provides a comprehensive and accessible view of key global issues in biodiversity. It outlines some of the broad ecological relationships between humans and the rest of the material world and summarizes information on the health of the planet. Opening with an outline of some fundamental aspects of material cycles and energy flow in the biosphere, the book goes on to discuss the expansion of this diversity through geological time and the pattern of its distribution over the surface of the Earth, and trends in the condition of the main ecosystem types and the species integral to them.

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Editorial Reviews

Malcolm Gordon
The book amounts to a detailed report card on the status of the world's biodiversity resources at the beginning of the new millenium. It brings together, and integrates to substantial degrees, huge amounts of information that is widely scattered in both technical literature and in governmental and NGO reports.
Simon A. Levin
This is an exciting piece of work-well-written, well-researched, and authoritative.
Scientist New
This book is a stocktaking exercise for those in the conservation industry: it's a comprehensive assessment of what species are present and where.
Library Journal
Published to coincide with the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, this work provides an overview of the current state of global diversity, a source of growing concern in past years. The authors, both staff members of the World Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme, focus on the diversity of living organisms, their populations, and major aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem types. Opening with a discussion of material cycles and energy flow, the text goes on to examine diversity through geological time, species extinction, and the increasing human impact on the environment. A large portion of the work focuses on the three basic biome types: terrestrial, marine, and inland waters. The maps include marine turtle diversity, forest distribution, and flowering plant family diversity, while appendixes include the phyla of living organisms, recent vertebrate extinctions, and biodiversity at the country level. Despite its numerous attractive tables, charts, graphs, and color photographs, this work is most appropriate for researchers and college students of ecology/environmental studies. General readers would find the maps and tables useful, but much of the other data may be too technical. Special and academic libraries will find that this resource nicely complements the five-volume Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, edited by Simon Levin.-Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520236684
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/26/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,079,008
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Groombridge is Senior Programme Officer, Forests, Drylands and Freshwater Programme of UNEP-WCMC. Martin D. Jenkins is Senior Advisor, Species Conservation at UNEP-WCMC.

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Table of Contents

List of tables, figures and maps


The living planet
Productivity and the carbon cycle

Evolution and systematics
Groups and names
Species concepts and diversity assessment
Numbers of living species
The diversity of living organisms
The phyla of living organisms

The fossil record
Patterns of diversification
Patterns of extinction

Use of natural resources
Human origins
Impacts of early hominids on the environment
Appropriation of net primary production
Current use of wild resources

The distribution of biological diversity
Diversity as a basis for conservation action
Global trends in biodiversity
Recent vertebrate extinctions

The seas
The composition and movement of seawater
The major zones of the oceans
The basis of life in the seas
Biological diversity in the seas
Vertebrate diversity in the seas
Major marine communities
Shallow water communities
Corals and coral reefs
Algae and kelp forests
Oceanic pelagic communities
Deep-sea communities
Human use of and impact on the oceans
World marine capture fisheries
Other major impacts on the marine biosphere
The current status of marine biodiversity
Management of marine ecosystems

The terrestrial biosphere
Temperate needleleaf forests
Tropical moist forests
Tropical dry forests
Sparse trees and parkland
Forest plantations
Changes in forest cover
Pressures on forest biodiversity
Forest protection and management
Non-forest ecosystems
Grasslands and savannas
Deserts and semi-deserts
The status of terrestrial biodiversity


Inland water habitats
Lotic systems: rivers and catchment basins
Lentic systems
Diversity in inland waters

Inland water animals

Inland waters and humankind
Uses of inland water species
Other major factors influencing inland water ecosystems
The current status of inland water biodiversity
Assessment of the status of inland water ecosystems


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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2003


    Dear Sir, I am the Training and Educational Director of Integrated Rural Community Farms for Research & Development Society, a Ghanaian based Ngo that deals with sustainability of the rural communities in Ghana, and the rural community in particular. Our NGO had been involve in some courses Alpha farm in USA that is helping us a lot, and I was much grateful when I was reading your book on World Atlas of Biodiversity: Earth¹S Living Resources in the 21st Century. We are plead with what you people are doing, and we would therefore be grateful if you can give us some calendar of events from your end, so we may attend a program to learn from you. You may also give us other contacts, since we¿re now coming up and want to develop the rural communities in Ghana, and Africa us a whole. Many thanks, and hope you respond fast to this, since we are desperate to learn from YOU. (Education &training Director)

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