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The Forgotten Pollinators

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
This work looks at the human impact on plants and the animals they depend upon for reproduction. As an increasing number of species are erased by pesticides or habitat disruption, 80 per cent of the human diet is threatened.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by Island Press (first published May 1st 1996)
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Jan 06, 2009 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book conveys some dramatic irony. It was written in the mid-90s, long before stories about collapsing honeybee populations made national news, a low-simmering indicator of national decay on the order of the Gary Condit scandal. Reading a dire prophecy that turned out spot on is depressing, but the style and order of the writing gives it an abstract consonance that, for me anyway, makes it akin to watching the Jim Lehrer NewsHour--reasonable people talking about madness.

These two bee biolog
Feb 04, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
Recommends it for: gardeners, conservationists, people who eat food and wear clothes and drink drinks.
Recommended to Andrea by: UW-Madison professor of biology
Shelves: plant-world
The format of info interspersed with the authors' anecdotes was an OK format. The discussion of various pollinators and their evolutionary relationship with the plant world was a swaying argument as I plan several native plant gardens.

Some significant highlights:
Generalist vs. specialist pollinators, and how their physical features or methods of visiting plants have co-evolved with the phenology of various plant species.

Keystone species within a given ecosystem, and the fragility of those syste
Most people know that honeybees pollinate plants. This book deals with less-familiar pollinators.

It's important for people to know these things, because otherwise they do things like make alfalfa fields too big for alkali bees to pollinate them, and fail to provide alternate food sources for pollinators of agricultural crops.

It's also necessary knowledge for people who are planning space colonies. You can't go on forever pollinating plants with a bee abdomen on a stick, after all. Won't work on
Aug 23, 2007 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: science, environment
Too long ago to remember the details, except that I remembered it read pretty well, always an achievement in science books, and that I was absolutely amazed and highly impressed by how important pollination was to world food supply and health and how little care we have shown for the pollinators. This is all being played out again today with the heavy hit honeybees are taking.
Jul 28, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing
I like to read natural history, but it's tough to find a good one that isn't over my head. This one was perfectly pitched to my level of understanding, but isn't dumbed down either. It's a little out of date, but still worthwhile.
Sep 11, 2008 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written 12 years ago, the book gives an in depth look at pollination and how we have had an impact on how plants and insects (and some animals) interact. It is a fascinating look into the natural world. For serious nature-lovers.
Nov 04, 2010 Christine rated it it was amazing
With Colony Collapse Disorder killing off European honey bees, it's time to remember native pollinators. Nabhan and Buchmann summarize the situation for other ways to help plants make fruit.
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