Mangrove Ecosystems: Function and Management

Springer Science & Business Media
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Protection of the environment has nowadays become a major challenge and a condi tion for survival of future human generations and life on Earth in general. Yet it is still far too much of a dream or hope rather than a reality in the policy of our societies. Presently we are experiencing an unprecedented exponential growth of demography combined with a race for profit, resulting in excessive consumption particularly of en ergy, and a serious impact on the world ecosystems. Various types of pollutants and emerging new diseases not only disrupt the normal course of life, but also above this some of the atmospheric pollutants are most likely involved in the changing climate. We fear and literally shiver at the thought that the "changing climate" would ultimately disrupt the fragile thermodynamic equilibrium between the atmosphere and the oceans. Are we insensitive to these facts to the point of pushing our descendants, some genera tions ahead, into a new glacial period after a first period of warming up, at least, in northern Europe, like the one that took place 13 to 14 millennia ago? Surely the planet's nature is not prepared to be dominated by man and will go its way, whether humanity will be alive or dead.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Jun 29, 2013
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Pages
298
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ISBN
9783662047132
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Science / Earth Sciences / Geography
Science / Earth Sciences / Geology
Science / Life Sciences / Biological Diversity
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book investigates the introduction of invasive species and their behavior in oceanic islands. How can we define invasive species? What is their history? How did they come to dominate and transform ecosystems? These are relevant questions when trying to understand the behavior of invasive species—primarily in fragile ecosystems such as islands—and to understand the biological, ecological, social and economic impacts of invasions.
We chose the Galapagos Islands, a place well-known to be unique in the study of evolution, as a laboratory to analyze the interactions between invasive and endemic species, to understand the makeup of the ecosystems emerging after invasions have occurred, to describe the relationships of invasives with the people that live in these islands, and to try to develop comprehensive analyses on this topic from multi-scalar and multi-disciplinary points of view. For a long time, the discussion has been about how proper management of the species could achieve two main goals: the eradication of the species to recover affected ecosystems and the conservation of endemic species. The discussion has taken on other nuances, including the suggestion that an invasive species, when it is already adapted to an ecosystem, forms an integral part of it, and thus eradication would in itself go against conservation. On the other hand, some invasive species are not only part of the biological compound of the island ecosystems, but they also form part of the social and cultural history of the inhabited islands. Some of these identified by the local inhabitants are species of real or potential economic value.
Mangroves and seagrasses form extensive and highly productive ecosystems that are both biologically diverse and economically valuable. This book, now in its third edition and fully updated throughout, continues to provide a current and comprehensive introduction to all aspects of the biology and ecology of mangroves and seagrasses. Using a global range of examples and case studies, it describes the unique adaptations of these plants to their exacting environments; the rich and diverse communities of organisms that depend on mangrove forests and seagrass meadows (including tree-climbing shrimps, synchronously flashing fireflies, and 'gardening' seacows); the links between mangrove, seagrass, and other habitats; and the evolution, biodiversity, and biogeography of mangroves and seagrasses. The economic value of mangroves and seagrasses is also discussed, including approaches to rational management of these vital resources and techniques for the restoration of degraded habitats. A final chapter, new to this edition, examines the potential effects of global climate change including sea level rise. As with other titles in the Biology of Habitats Series, particular emphasis is placed on the organisms that dominate these fascinating aquatic ecosystems although pollution, conservation, and experimental aspects are also considered. This accessible textbook assumes no previous knowledge of mangrove or seagrass ecology and is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professional ecologists, conservation practitioners, and resource managers.
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