People, places

May 26, 2000

As an introductory text, Biogeography is comprehensive and easy to read. Defining biogeography as "the study of living things in space and time", this refreshingly straightforward text gives an overview of all the standard aspects of biogeography found in student texts: the interdisciplinary nature of the subject; the nature of biological diversity; the factors affecting the distribution of species. Particularly interesting are discussions of biogeographical implications of plate tectonics, climate change and post-Pleistocene human impact.

The book also explores some more unusual topics such as marine biogeography and the potential of biogeography as a predictive science. To its credit, it also give an insight into some of the practical applications of the subject- something all too often absent from student texts.

The maps, graphs and other visual tools illustrate the more complex concepts in a minimal number of pages. This book is a valuable introduction to a fascinating subject. It should prove useful to first-year undergraduates taking degree programmes or courses in biogeography.

Catherine Cotton formerly lectured in plant biology and ethnobotany at the Roehampton Institute, London.

Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. Sixth Edition

Author - Barry Cox and Peter D. Moore
ISBN - 0 86542 778 X
Publisher - Blackwell
Price - £21.50
Pages - 298

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