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The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants
Much as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was a call to action against the pesticides that were devastating bird populations, Charles S. Elton's classic The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants sounded an early warning about an environmental catastrophe that has become all too familiar today—the invasion of nonnative species. From kudzu to zebra mussels to Asian long-hor ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published June 15th 2000 by University Of Chicago Press
(first published January 1st 1958)
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It turns out that almost everything we think of as "common knowledge" now about the disasters resulting from humans introducing foreign species was originally the work of C.S. Elton back in the mid 1950s. So in a way, it is hard to appreciate the book because of that --- but it is well worth reading anyway. Who can resist an author who writes lines like, "It is curious that both human beings and this mollusc on the eastern seaboard of North America have evolved the same skyscraper prinicple for ...more
A valuable work, a classic, this is a book that ecologists should read, even if the case studies and maps make for dry reading and a listless flipping of pages. The focus is on invasion ecology, the great moving and mixing of species underway as people scatter species around the planet and across biogeographic realms, intently or inadvertently. There is more however: the book gravitates to a consideration of pests in agricultural landscapes and why we should find solutions informed by ecological ...more
The classic book on invasive organisms and how globalization was silently seeding the planet with trouble, with our efforts to control it creating more. It's an overlooked 1950s book that actually begat a science, and is cited by everyone and his brother who has had cause to write more than superficially about invasive species. It's pretty dry and wouldn't appeal to most outside of biology, but this guy (a Brit) is also pretty funny and drops some hilarious lines and observations along with what ...more
Un llibre absolutament imprescindible per a qualsevol biòleg o ambientòleg, i feridorament actual, tant per la temàtica com per la forma d'abordar-la. Mig segle després, allò que Elton intuïa o començava a albirar és una realitat, i sense aquest llibre, que féu esclatar el camp de l'ecologia de les espècies invasores, el panorama actual seria ben distint. La introducció de Simberloff i unes conclusions finals sobre per què conservar la natura garanteixen la vigència d'un clàssic de la ciència.
A delightful read! Charles Elton is surprisingly enjoyable, and his 1958 understanding of invasion biology should make modern biologists embarrassed about their progress (uh, that might offend some people, but the dude was really smart). Doesn't read like a dry textbook, instead is much more conversational.
Charles Sutherland Elton FRS (29 March 1900 – 1 May 1991) was an English zoologist and animal ecologist. His name is associated with the establishment of modern population and community ecology, including studies of invasive organisms.More about Charles S. Elton...