"In this book a master scientist tells the great story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse, and why the threat to this diversity today is beyond the scope of anything we have known before." "The Diversity of Life has quickly become a classic text in its definition of a new environmental ethic - our obligation to rescue ecosystems, not simply individual species - and its prescient call for an end to the conservation versus development argument. In an extensive new foreword for this edition, Professor Wilson addresses the explosion of the field of conservation biology and takes a clear-eyed look at the work still to be done.
"Global temperatures and seawater levels rise; the world's smallest porpoise species looms at the edge of extinction; and a tiny emerald beetle from Japan flourishes in North America--but why does it matter? Who cares? With this concise, accessible, and up-to-date book, Charles J. Krebs answers critics and enlightens students and environmental advocates alike, revealing not why phenomena like these deserve our attention, but why they demand it. Highlighting key principles in ecology--from species extinction to the sun's role in powering ecosystems--each chapter introduces a general question, illustrates that question with real-world examples, and links it to pressing ecological issues in which humans play a central role, such as the spread of invasive species, climate change, overfishing, and biodiversity conservation. While other introductions to ecology are rooted in complex theory, math, or practice and relegate discussions of human environmental impacts and their societal implications to sidebars and appendices, Why Ecology Matters interweaves these important discussions throughout. It is a book rooted in our contemporary world, delving into ecological issues that are perennial, timeless, but could not be more timely."