Conservation of ecosystems, habitats and the maintenance of environmental conditions for the survival of species are everyone's responsibility. The ecologist's role is to better understand how complex systems work and say how best to manage valuable fragile resources.
Edward Newman introduces beginners to underlying ecological principles. Chapters begin with questions and the basic science needed to understand the problems. For example, chapter two takes us through energy and carbon, essentials of biological life, their movement through trophic levels and brings us finally to global climate change. Examples are well referenced, worldwide and pertinent.
Subsequent chapters address soils, seas and specific contemporary management problems. Cod fishery exploitation, thought to be an endless source of protein, took this fish to the edge of extinction. Newman, rightly, lays some blame on fisheries scientists. Similarly, forest sustainability, management, and effects on other species are examined, but not pessimistically. Pest control - chemical and biological - and pollution are also addressed.
The final chapters examine species conservation and community restoration. A good introduction to applied ecology - send it to George W. Bush's administration to help it understand its environmental responsibilities.
Tony Andrew is lecturer in environmental science, University of Ulster.
Applied Ecology and Environmental Management. Second Edition
Author - Edward Newman
ISBN - 0 632 04265 6
Publisher - Blackwell
Price - £29.50
Pages - 396