Sex in City Plants, Animals, Fungi, and More: A Guide to Reproductive Diversity

Sex in City Plants, Animals, Fungi, and More: A Guide to Reproductive Diversity

Sex in City Plants, Animals, Fungi, and More: A Guide to Reproductive Diversity

Sex in City Plants, Animals, Fungi, and More: A Guide to Reproductive Diversity

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Overview

Cities pose formidable obstacles to nonhuman life. Vast expanses of asphalt and concrete are inhospitable to plants and animals; traffic noise and artificial light disturb natural rhythms; sewage and pollutants imperil existence. Yet cities teem with life: In rowhouse neighborhoods, tiny flowers bloom from cracks in the sidewalk. White clover covers lawns, its seeds dispersed by shoes and birds. Moths flutter and spiders weave their webs near electric lights. Sparrows and squirrels feast on the scraps people leave behind. Pairs of red-tailed hawks nest on window ledges. How do wild plants and animals in urban areas find mates? How do they navigate the patchwork of habitats to reproduce while avoiding inbreeding? In what ways do built environments enable or inhibit mating?

This book explores the natural history of sex in urban bacteria, fungi, plants, and nonhuman animals. Kenneth D. Frank illuminates the reproductive behavior of scores of species. He examines topics such as breeding systems, sex determination, sex change, sexual conflict, sexual trauma, sexually transmitted disease, sexual mimicry, sexual cannibalism, aphrodisiacs, and lost sex. Frank offers a guide to urban reproductive diversity across a range of conditions, showing how understanding of sex and mating furthers the appreciation of biodiversity. He presents reproductive diversity as elegant but vulnerable, underscoring the consequences of human activity. Featuring compelling photographs of a multitude of life forms in their city habitats, this book provides a new lens on urban natural history.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231206075
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 04/19/2022
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Kenneth D. Frank is a retired physician whose current research focuses on how plants and animals adapt to urbanization. His work has been published in journals including Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Pediatrics, Entomological News, and the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society.

Jonathan Silvertown is professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Edinburgh. His books include Dinner with Darwin: Food, Drink, and Evolution (2017) and The Comedy of Error: Why Evolution Made Us Laugh (2020).

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Nonflowering Plants
2. Herbaceous Annual Plants
3. Herbaceous Perennial Plants
4. Trees and Woody Vines
5. Butterflies and Moths
6. Bees, Wasps, and Ants
7. Dragonflies and Praying Mantises
8. Other Insects
9. Invertebrates Exclusive of Insects
10. Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fish
11. Mammals
12. Birds
13. Fungi, Bacteria, and Lichens
Conclusion
Glossary
Notes
Photo Credits
Index

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