Tim's Reviews > Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

Sustaining Life by Eric Chivian
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's review
May 07, 12

bookshelves: enviro, science
Read from February 15 to May 07, 2012

I'm neither an expert on this topic nor unbiased (one of the editors is an old friend), but I think it's hard to be unimpressed by this book. Both "human health" and "biodiversity" are enormous, complicated topics on their own, so it stands to reason that their intersection is a rich, detailed topic as well. But they certainly do it justice (or at least try to). The assembled authors hit a large number of topics: ecosystem services, medicines from animals and plants, changing patterns of disease due to ecosystem disruptance, biodiversity and agriculture, etc.

The book is a hybrid between hard-core technical literature review and glossy coffee-table book. People with more biology background than I will probably get more out of the technical sections, but each chapter is also packed with supplemental information and a ton of beautiful photos. And even the technical sections are not impenetrable, and most do a decent job explaining the ideas they present.

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