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
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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
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