The Wolf's Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity
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The Wolf's Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Animals such as wolves, sea otters, and sharks exert a disproportionate influence on their environment; dramatic ecological consequences can result when they are removed from—or returned to—an ecosystem.

In The Wolf’s Tooth, scientist and author Cristina Eisenberg explores the concept of “trophic cascades” and the role of top predators in regulating ecosystems. Her fascinat...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 8th 2010 by Island Press (first published 2010)
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Lis Carey
This is a useful and interesting overview of the state of ecosystem management science, its history, complexities, and uncertainties. Eisenberg interlaces accounts of her own research on wolves, elks, aspens, and songbirds in Colorado, Wyoming, and elsewhere, with accounts of what others are doing or have done in similar settings and in very different ones. These include the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch in Montana, a working ranch that operates as a demonstration of how conservation and ran...more
Carol Surges
Wow. For anyone needing to come up to speed quickly on what is happening in biological conservation and ecosystems this is the book to start with. I wish I had. Eisenberg, an ecologist herself, takes us along as she researches the impact of animals on aspens; the wolf specifically. Along the way she fills us in on the vocabulary, methods, history and people involved in this fascinating area of study. Her personable style and relevant anecdotes all help to take the novice ecologist from ignorance...more
DeLene Beeland
If I could use only three words to describe The Wolf’s Tooth, these are the ones I’d choose: elegant, forceful and fluid. This is a story about how two intertwined ecological concepts — keystone predators and trophic cascades — leave their signatures upon entire landscapes. The Wolf’s Tooth is authored by Cristina Eisenberg, a PhD candidate at Oregon State University who studies conservation biology. Before graduate school, she was a journalist and editor. Her dual career paths collide in The Wo...more
Leah Adams
This book is written by an Oregon State professor, with property in Montana. She argues that many ecosystems are governed by the top predator, the keystone species. In the Rocky Mountain West, this is the wolf. She gives many examples of ecosystems, where when the top predator is removed, the diversity of species is much reduced. She talks about the relationship of the wolves, elk, aspen, and songbirds, as well as sea otters, sea urchins, and kelp, and relationships in other ecosystems. Of inter...more
Linda Blum
Cristina's tales of field experiences with wolves and other top predators are both fascinating and educational, especially when she describes trophic cascades in places already familiar to readers. I would recommend more illustrations in future editions, so readers could see photos or drawings of overbrowsed aspen stands compared to healthy ones, e.g. I'm having a hard time applying her theory to the western forests where I live, but Cristina herself writes about the differences between places a...more
Informative and with good ideas. I'm glad to have it on my shelf. I'm sure to refer to it again soon.
Paul Heidebrecht
Eisenberg is a conservation biologist specializing in the study of how wolves--or the removal of predators--affects plant life and the overall health of a ecosystem. She describes all kinds of research being done around the world on the role of predators. She's a protege of Aldo Leopold who taught us to look at all the relationships and preserve everything, especially the predators.
A great mix of field stories, history of ecology and hopeful new science. A very enlightening and enjoyable read.
A brilliant book about trophic cascades and the importance of preditors in the natural world.
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