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The Utility of Biodiversity in Evolutionary Perspective
What use is biodiversity, and does it matter if species die out? These controversial questions arouse considerable debate. Most people believe they represent a moral dilemma, but The Pursuit of Complexity shows that it is possible to explore them in a scientific way.
Author Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis takes us back to the underlying fundamental questions: What actually is usefulness, or utility? What is evolution? What is life? What is biodiversity? And how important are human beings in all this? According to him we have to look at evolution in an entirely different way. If we do that we see that it follows predictable patterns, and that it is possible to anticipate the next stage in the evolutionary process.
His surprising answers and provocative predictions keep the reader in suspense. He invites us to engage in a new type of discussion, one that encompasses not only the scientific and philosophical issues, but also their practical implications for nature conservation.
The Pursuit of Complexity is written in clear terms for a broad audience, from biologists and nature conservationists, philosophers, futurists, researchers and students to politicians, policymakers and anyone with an interest in nature and curious about what constitutes life.
Bio-Invasions and Their Impact on Nature, the Economy and Public Health
Bioglobalisation is anything but new. The exotic fungus Phytophtora has threatened European potato harvests since 1846. Since then, the number of deliberate and accidental introductions of exotic species has grown rapidly. Environmental factors such as climate change also play an increasing role.
This book is a thorough and informative overview of all aspects of bioglobalisation. It describes its nature and scope, as well as history, drivers and mechanisms. Using vivid examples, the book addresses which species are likely to become invasive, which bioregions are vulnerable, and whether we can - and should - try to control bio-invasions.
Separate chapters address the impacts of bioglobalisation on the environment and on our economy, and discuss, for instance, how virus invasions are threatening human lives worldwide.
Identification Keys to the Syrphidae
Hoverflies of the Northwest Europe is an updated edition with revisions to the text. It identifies the hoverflies of Northwest Europe and incorporates the knowledge that has been published in many articles over the past decades.
The book covers 500 species - nearly two thirds of the known European syrphid fauna. The main body of the book consists of dichotomous keys to all the hoverfly species found in the region, richly illustrated with drawings that show details as well as whole flies.
• What are hoverflies and how are they to distinguish from bees, wasps and other bees
• Where are they found? (forests, woodlands, marshes, peatlands and bogs, meadows, grasslands, gardens
• When is the best time to find and see hoverflies?
• Collecting and preservering specimens
• Early stages (eggs and larvae)
• How to use this book?
• The hoverfly body
• Identification keys to the genera and 500 species of Northwest Europe
• richly illustrated with drawings that show details as well as whole flies