Tropical Nature and Other Essays


Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108053130
Category: History
Page: 380
View: 2144

Continue Reading →

First published in 1878, this is a study of tropical flora and fauna, and their often remarkable evolutionary adaptations.

Natural Selection and Tropical Nature


Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing
ISBN: 9780766190276
Category: Science
Page: 504
View: 7322

Continue Reading →

1891. Essays on descriptive and theoretical biology by Wallace, an English naturalist, evolutionist, geographer, anthropologist, and social critic. Contents: Natural Selection: On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of New Species; On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type; Mimicry, and other Protective Resemblances Among Animals; On Instinct in Man and Animals; the Philosophy of Birds' Nests; A Theory of Birds' Nests; Creation by Law; The Development of Human Races Under the Law of Natural Selection; The Limits of Natural Selection as Applied to Man. Tropical Nature and Other Essays: The Climate and Physical Aspects of the Equatorial Zone; Equatorial Vegetation; Animal Life in the Tropical Forests; Hummingbirds: As Illustrating the Luxuriance of Tropical Nature; The Colors of Animals and Sexual Selection; The Colors of Plants and the Origin of the Color-Sense; The Antiquity and Origin of Man; The Antiquity of Man in North America; and The Debt of Science to Darwin. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

Tropical Nature

Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America
Author: Adrian Forsyth,Ken Miyata
Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN: 9780684187105
Category: Science
Page: 272
View: 1077

Continue Reading →

Picturing Tropical Nature


Author: Nancy Leys Stepan
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 9781861891464
Category: Photography
Page: 283
View: 5006

Continue Reading →

Whether considered a sublime landscape, malignant wilderness, or the endangered site of environmental conflicts, the tropics are, Picturing Tropical Nature argues, largely a construct of American and European imaginations. Nancy Leys Stephan asserts that images of the tropics conveyed through drawings, paintings, photographs, literature, and travel writings are central to what Stepan calls the “tropicalization of nature,” or the often harmful misrepresentation of the tropics and its peoples. She here examines several aspects of such tropicalization as they emerge through the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientists and artists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Alfred Russel Wallace, Louis Agassiz, Sir Patrick Manson, and Margaret Mee. From the earliest photographic attempts to represent tropical hybrid races to depictions of disease in new tropical medicines, Picturing Tropical Nature offers new insight into the convergence of the tropics with European and American science and art. “A brilliant and provocative book . . . the kind of book that carries forward a field in a single stride . . . undoubtedly the finest account of ‘tropicality’ we have.”—Social History of Medicine

Where Have All the Birds Gone?

Essays on the Biology and Conservation of Birds that Migrate to the American Tropics
Author: John Terborgh
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691024288
Category: Nature
Page: 207
View: 4911

Continue Reading →

"Things are going wrong with our environment," writes John Terborgh, "even the parts of it that are nominally protected. If we wait until all the answers are in, we may find ourselves in a much worse predicament than if we had taken notice of the problem earlier. By waiting, one risks being too late; on the other hand, there can be no such thing as being too early." Terborgh's warnings are essential reading for all who care about migratory birds and our natural environment. Why are tropical migrant species disappearing from our forests? Can we save the birds that are left? Terborgh takes a more comprehensive view of migratory birds than is usual--by asking how they spend their lives during the half-year they reside in the tropics. By scrutinizing ill-planned urban and suburban development in the United States and the tropical deforestation of Central and South America, he summarizes our knowledge of the subtle combination of circumstances that is devastating our bird populations. This work is pervaded by Terborgh's love for the thrushes, warblers, vireos, cuckoos, flycatchers, and tanagers that inhabited his family's woodland acreage while he was growing upbirds that no longer live there, in spite of the preservation of those same woods as part of a county park. The book is a tour of topics as varied as ecological monitoring, the plight of the Chesapeake wetlands, the survival struggle of Central American subsistence farmers, and the management of commercial forests.

Portraits of the Rainforest


Author: Adrian Forsyth
Publisher: Camden House Pub
ISBN: N.A
Category: Science
Page: 156
View: 9018

Continue Reading →

Portrays the flora and fauna of the tropical rain forest, celebrating the beauty and complexity of the oldest ecosystem

In Darwin's Shadow

The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History
Author: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198033813
Category: Science
Page: 448
View: 6082

Continue Reading →

Virtually unknown today, Alfred Russel Wallace was the co-discoverer of natural selection with Charles Darwin and an eminent scientist who stood out among his Victorian peers as a man of formidable mind and equally outsized personality. Now Michael Shermer rescues Wallace from the shadow of Darwin in this landmark biography. Here we see Wallace as perhaps the greatest naturalist of his age--spending years in remote jungles, collecting astounding quantities of specimens, writing thoughtfully and with bemused detachment at his reception in places where no white man had ever gone. Here, too, is his supple and forceful intelligence at work, grappling with such arcane problems as the bright coloration of caterpillars, or shaping his 1858 paper on natural selection that prompted Darwin to publish (with Wallace) the first paper outlining the theory of evolution. Shermer also shows that Wallace's self-trained intellect, while powerful, also embraced surprisingly naive ideas, such as his deep interest in the study of spiritual manifestations and seances. Shermer shows that the same iconoclastic outlook that led him to overturn scientific orthodoxy as he worked in relative isolation also led him to embrace irrational beliefs, and thus tarnish his reputation. As author of Why People Believe Weird Things and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, Shermer is an authority on why people embrace the irrational. Now he turns his keen judgment and incisive analysis to Wallace's life and his contradictory beliefs, restoring a leading figure in the rise of modern science to his rightful place.

Encounters with Nature

Essays
Author: Paul Shepard,Florence R. Shepard
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781559635295
Category: Nature
Page: 223
View: 3597

Continue Reading →

Twenty-one essays discuss the perception and aesthetics of nature, the influence of animals on humans, the nature of place, and how nature and culture help shape the development of the individual

Insatiable Appetite

The United States and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World
Author: Richard P. Tucker
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742553651
Category: History
Page: 267
View: 363

Continue Reading →

Now in a concise edition created expressly for students and general readers, this widely hailed study traces the transformation of the tropics in modern times. Exploring the central role of the United States in the ongoing devastation of tropical lands, Richard P. Tucker highlights the unrelenting pressure caused by the demands of U.S. consumerism. The forced domestication of varied natural systems ultimately led to a devastating decline in biodiversity. The author brings his analysis to life with a series of vivid case studies of sugar, bananas, coffee, rubber, beef, and timber—each a virtual empire in itself. All readers who are interested in environmental degradation and its links to the world economy will be enlightened by this nuanced history.

Speciation and Patterns of Diversity


Author: Roger Butlin,Jon Bridle,Dolph Schluter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139474580
Category: Science
Page: N.A
View: 2559

Continue Reading →

Bringing together the viewpoints of leading ecologists concerned with the processes that generate patterns of diversity, and evolutionary biologists who focus on mechanisms of speciation, this book opens up discussion in order to broaden understanding of how speciation affects patterns of biological diversity, especially the uneven distribution of diversity across time, space and taxa studied by macroecologists. The contributors discuss questions such as: Are species equivalent units, providing meaningful measures of diversity? To what extent do mechanisms of speciation affect the functional nature and distribution of species diversity? How can speciation rates be measured using molecular phylogenies or data from the fossil record? What are the factors that explain variation in rates? Written for graduate students and academic researchers, the book promotes a more complete understanding of the interaction between mechanisms and rates of speciation and these patterns in biological diversity.

Gathering Moss

A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780870714993
Category: Nature
Page: 168
View: 1030

Continue Reading →

Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.

Nature's Matrix

Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty
Author: Ivette Perfecto,John H. Vandermeer,Angus Lindsay Wright
Publisher: Earthscan
ISBN: 1849770131
Category: Nature
Page: 257
View: 6842

Continue Reading →

Landscapes are frequently seen as fragments of natural habitat surrounded by a 'sea' of agriculture. But recent ecological theory shows that the nature of these fragments is not nearly as important for conservation as is the nature of the matrix of agriculture that surrounds them. Local extinctions from conservation fragments are inevitable and must be balanced by migrations if massive extinction is to be avoided. High migration rates only occur in what the authors refer to as 'high quality' matrices, which are created by alternative agroecological techniques, as opposed to the industrial monocultural model of agriculture. The authors argue that the only way to promote such high quality matrices is to work with rural social movements. Their ideas are at odds with the major trends of some of the large conservation organizations that emphasize targeted land purchases of protected areas. They argue that recent advances in ecological research make such a general approach anachronistic and call, rather, for solidarity with the small farmers around the world who are currently struggling to attain food sovereignty.Nature's Matrix proposes a radically new approach to the conservation of biodiversity based on recent advances in the science of ecology plus political realities, particularly in the world's tropical regions.

Natural Experiments of History


Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674076729
Category: History
Page: 286
View: 4894

Continue Reading →

In eight case studies by leading scholars in history, archaeology, business, economics, geography, and political science, the authors showcase the “natural experiment” or “comparative method”—well-known in any science concerned with the past—on the discipline of human history. That means, according to the editors, “comparing, preferably quantitatively and aided by statistical analyses, different systems that are similar in many respects, but that differ with respect to the factors whose influence one wishes to study.” The case studies in the book support two overall conclusions about the study of human history: First, historical comparisons have the potential for yielding insights that cannot be extracted from a single case study alone. Second, insofar as is possible, when one proposes a conclusion, one may be able to strengthen one’s conclusion by gathering quantitative evidence (or at least ranking one’s outcomes from big to small), and then by testing the conclusion’s validity statistically.

Tropical Babylons

Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1680
Author: Stuart B. Schwartz
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807895628
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 3305

Continue Reading →

The idea that sugar, plantations, slavery, and capitalism were all present at the birth of the Atlantic world has long dominated scholarly thinking. In nine original essays by a multinational group of top scholars, Tropical Babylons re-evaluates this so-called "sugar revolution." The most comprehensive comparative study to date of early Atlantic sugar economies, this collection presents a revisionist examination of the origins of society and economy in the Atlantic world. Focusing on areas colonized by Spain and Portugal (before the emergence of the Caribbean sugar colonies of England, France, and Holland), these essays show that despite reliance on common knowledge and technology, there were considerable variations in the way sugar was produced. With studies of Iberia, Madeira and the Canary Islands, Hispaniola, Cuba, Brazil, and Barbados, this volume demonstrates the similarities and differences between the plantation colonies, questions the very idea of a sugar revolution, and shows how the specific conditions in each colony influenced the way sugar was produced and the impact of that crop on the formation of "tropical Babylons--multiracial societies of great oppression. Contributors: Alejandro de la Fuente, University of Pittsburgh Herbert Klein, Columbia University John J. McCusker, Trinity University Russell R. Menard, University of Minnesota William D. Phillips Jr., University of Minnesota Genaro Rodriguez Morel, Seville, Spain Stuart B. Schwartz, Yale University Eddy Stols, Leuven University, Belgium Alberto Vieira, Centro de Estudos Atlanticos, Madeira

A Neotropical Companion

An Introduction to the Animals, Plants, and Ecosystems of the New World Tropics
Author: John C. Kricher
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691009742
Category: Nature
Page: 451
View: 4220

Continue Reading →

Widely praised, "A Neotropical Companion" remains a book of unparalleled value to tourists, students, and scientists alike. It is an extraordinarily readable introduction to the American tropics, the lands of Central and South America, their rainforests and other ecosystems, and the creatures that live there. 177 color illustrations.

Natural Selection and Tropical Nature Essays on Descriptive and Theoretical Biology


Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
ISBN: 1473362482
Category: Science
Page: 761
View: 4932

Continue Reading →

This early work by Alfred Russel Wallace was originally published in 1895 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. 'Natural Selection and Tropical Nature Essays on Descriptive and Theoretical Biology' is a collection of essays that detail Wallace's observations of various bird species and outlines some of his ideas relating to evolutionary theory. Alfred Russel Wallace was born on 8th January 1823 in the village of Llanbadoc, in Monmouthshire, Wales. Wallace was inspired by the travelling naturalists of the day and decided to begin his exploration career collecting specimens in the Amazon rainforest. He explored the Rio Negra for four years, making notes on the peoples and languages he encountered as well as the geography, flora, and fauna. While travelling, Wallace refined his thoughts about evolution and in 1858 he outlined his theory of natural selection in an article he sent to Charles Darwin. Wallace made a huge contribution to the natural sciences and he will continue to be remembered as one of the key figures in the development of evolutionary theory.

Nature


Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 1387028901
Category:
Page: N.A
View: 515

Continue Reading →

In Nature, Emerson writes about the extraordinary power of nature as a way of bringing the divine into our lives. The essay stresses the importance of being an individual, resisting the comfort of conformity, and creating an art of living in harmony with nature.

Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests


Author: William F. Laurance,Carlos A. Peres
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226470229
Category: Science
Page: 563
View: 7775

Continue Reading →

Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests reveals the remarkably diverse panoply of perils to tropical forests and their biota, with particular emphasis on recent dangers. William F. Laurance and Carlos A. Peres identify four categories of emerging threats: those that have only recently appeared, such as the virulent chytrid fungus that is decimating rainforest amphibians throughout the tropical world; those that are growing rapidly in importance, like destructive surface fires; those that are poorly understood, namely global warming and other climatic and atmospheric changes; and environmental synergisms, whereby two or more simultaneous threats—such as habitat fragmentation and wildfires, or logging and hunting—can dramatically increase local extinction of tropical species. In addition to documenting the vulnerability of tropical rainforests, the volume focuses on strategies for mitigating and combating emerging threats. A timely and compelling book intended for researchers, students, and conservation practitioners, Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests will interest anyone concerned about the fate of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems.