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Ph. Stoutjesdijk and J.J. Barkman

In Microclimate, Vegetation & Fauna the ecologist meets the meteorologist: it is about the biological aspects of microclimate and its variation in horizontal and vertical directions. The great diversity found in the various habitats is stressed, also as far as the microclimate is concerned.The stronghold of this book on microclimatology or the ‘minor weather’ in the immediate surroundings of plants and animals is its capacity to unravel the causal relationships between climate, topography, soils, vegetation and fauna. The manifold interactions in between are explained in detail and it is concluded that the connections are so intimate that each species has its own microclimate.
This book is unique and interesting for a wide audience. It specifically targets natural scientists and students in biology with an interest in climatology and climatologists with an interest in biology.

Economy and Ecology of Heathlands

Heathland Ecology and Management

Edited by W. Herbert Diemont, Wim J.M. Heijman, Henk Siepel and Nigel R. Webb

Heathlands in Europe reflect a long history of human activity and use. Through the ages heathlands have been of importance as (semi)agricultural areas, hunting territories and various other uses of mankind. This diversity of use has created a cultural diversity over the whole Atlantic area of Europe, from Portugal and Spain in the south to Norway in the north and from Germany in the east to Ireland in the west.

Economy and Ecology of Heathlands shows us both the diversity in use all over Europe and combines this information with the newest insights in ecology and the Natura 2000 status most of these heathlands have got nowadays.

Central theme is how to cover the costs of maintenance of these heathlands. Is their future in new types of commons, or do other types of land ownership, using the revenues of heathland ecosystem services, give better opportunities?

The editors combine a broad variance in knowledge of heathlands varying from all aspects of ecology, land use, as well as economy.

European Flora of the Desmid Genera Staurastrum and Staurodesmus

Identification Key for Desmidiaceae - Morphology - Ecology and Distribution - Taxonomy

Peter F.M. Coesel and Koos J. Meesters

This flora represents the European species of het desmid genera Staurastrum and Staurodesmus and contains reliable identification keys and general information on the morphology, taxonomy, ecology and geographical distribution. An invaluable tool for aquatic ecologists and water quality management.
The desmid genera Staurastrum and Staurodesmus are notorious for their confusing taxonomy and problematic species identification. To a large part this is due to a lack of reliable identification manuals. The present flora, dealing with the European species of these genera, aims to meet this need. As well as general information on the morphology and taxonomy of the genera, identification keys to the species are provided. The discussion of each species includes morphological characteristics, ecology and geographical distribution (also beyond Europe).
As compared to other desmid genera, a large part of the Staurastrum and Staurodesmus species have a euplanktonic way of life. Reliable identification and knowledge of their ecological demands is most important for the assessment of water quality. Many species have a confined geographical distribution, even within Europe. Shifting distribution patterns of those species might be linked to climate change.
Volume 1: Desmids of the Lowlands - Mesotaeniaceae and Desmidiaceae of the European Lowlands
Volume 2: European Flora of the desmid genera Staurastrum and Staurodesmus

Calcareous Mires of Slovakia

Landscape Setting, Management and Restoration Prospects

Ab Grootjans, André Jansen and Viera Sefferová Stanová

Slovakia is blessed with an abundance of natural beauties, and some of them are quite unique within Europe. Calcareous fens, which are peat and travertine (CaCO3) depositing wetlands are such rare ecosystems and in Slovakia they are located almost exclusively in the Western Carpathian Mountains. Calcareous fens are hot spots of biodiversity and some protected and almost untouched sites are discussed in this book.
Such reference area are unique natural archives, and are very suitable for studying their past development and history. An international team of peatland scientists tried to unravel the hydrological and geochemical processes behind the development of calcareous fens and identify the dangers of human interventions in the landscape. The interdisciplinary approach used in these studies include covers historical development, ecology, geology and hydrology.
We believe it will be great inspiration for colleagues in other countries to study and understand the hydrological systems, including threatened wetland types and to propose efficient restoration measures.
Through 'Calcareous Mires of Slovakia', the authors wish to make a contribution to peatland preservation and more effective conservation.

Les ailes du Sahel

Zones humides et oiseaux migrateurs dans un environnement en mutation

Le Zwarts, Rob G. Bijlsma, Jan van der Kamp and Eddy Wymenga

'Living on the Edge' examines the function of the Sahel region of Africa as an important wintering area for long-distance migrant birds. It describes the challenges the birds have to cope with – climate change, of course, and rapid man-made habitat changes related to deforestation, irrigation and reclamation of wetlands.

How have all these changes affected the birds, and have birds adapted to these changes? Can we explain the changing numbers of breeding birds in Europe by changes in the Sahel, or vice versa?

Winner of the BB/BTO Best Bird Book Award 2010
The Jury commented: "It is a tremendous book in every department. It marks a step-change in our knowledge of the ecology of this critically important region in the European-African migration system and of the many species (familiar to us on their breeding grounds) that winter there.

The authors combine the latest scientific information with vivid descriptions of landscapes and animals. Their book is richly illustrated with large numbers of drawings, maps and photographs by acclaimed experts.

The wealth of coloured graphics has been particularly well thought out and encourages readers to delve into the figures and learn more about the region, rather than having the (all-too-common) opposite effect.

Summing up, the jury praises not just the high quality of the texts, the information and the illustrations, but also the sheer pleasure of reading the book: "One of the key attributes of a good book is to be able to grip the reader's attention and transport him or her to another place. We feel confident that [Living on the edge] will have that effect."

Living on the Edge

Wetlands and Birds in a Changing Sahel

Le Zwarts, Rob G. Bijlsma, Jan van der Kamp and Eddy Wymenga

'Living on the Edge' examines the function of the Sahel region of Africa as an important wintering area for long-distance migrant birds. It describes the challenges the birds have to cope with – climate change, of course, and rapid man-made habitat changes related to deforestation, irrigation and reclamation of wetlands.

How have all these changes affected the birds, and have birds adapted to these changes? Can we explain the changing numbers of breeding birds in Europe by changes in the Sahel, or vice versa?

Winner of the BB/BTO Best Bird Book Award 2010
The Jury commented: "It is a tremendous book in every department. It marks a step-change in our knowledge of the ecology of this critically important region in the European-African migration system and of the many species (familiar to us on their breeding grounds) that winter there.

The authors combine the latest scientific information with vivid descriptions of landscapes and animals. Their book is richly illustrated with large numbers of drawings, maps and photographs by acclaimed experts.

The wealth of coloured graphics has been particularly well thought out and encourages readers to delve into the figures and learn more about the region, rather than having the (all-too-common) opposite effect.

Summing up, the jury praises not just the high quality of the texts, the information and the illustrations, but also the sheer pleasure of reading the book: "One of the key attributes of a good book is to be able to grip the reader's attention and transport him or her to another place. We feel confident that [Living on the edge] will have that effect."

The Pursuit of Complexity

The Utility of Biodiversity in Evolutionary Perspective

Gerard Jagers

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.

Grasslands in Europe

Of High Nature Value

Peter Veen, Richard Jefferson, Jacques de Smidt and Jan van der Straaten

Grasslands are an important element of European nature. About half of Europe's endemic species depend on grasslands, whether in mountains, lowlands, river plains or coastal areas. Many grasslands originate in traditional agricultural landscapes. Modern intensification, however, brings many of these ecosystems under threat.
'Grasslands in Europe' is a tribute to these important ecosystems. It was written by an international team of grassland experts, who describe twenty-four case studies from countries in all of Europe - ranging from the grasslands of Gotland and #land (Sweden) to the Spanish Dehesa, and from the hay meadows of the British Pennine Dales to the steppes of Turkish Anatolia.
Together, these case studies provide a fascinating glimpse into the various European grasslands, their value for nature, culture and agriculture, and the threats they are facing today. The accessible text as well as the rich illustrations will appeal to a wide audience. Grasslands in Europe contains a large number of stunning full-colour photographs of grassland landscapes, species and cultural history. It also contains many maps and infographics.
Thematic chapters provide essential background information on topics such as grassland fauna, the history of agriculture, grassland communities, and the connection between grasslands and climate. The book also analyses the opportunities and risks of EU policy to conserve these grasslands. It offers a farmer-centred outlook to manage and to maintain the European grasslands of high nature value.

Biological Globalisation

Bio-Invasions and Their Impact on Nature, the Economy and Public Health

Wouter van der Weijden, Rob Leewis and Pieter Bol

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.

Europe's Living Landscapes

Essays Exploring Our Identity in the Countryside

Edited by Bas Pedroli, Anne van Doorn and Geert de Blust

This book is the result of three symposia of the Dutch Society for Landscape Ecology. The first symposium in 2005 was about the National Ecological Network in the Netherlands . The reason was that the implementation of the NEN, decided upon in 1990, was halfway. The second symposium, in 2006, was about urban ecology and the third one, to be held in 2007, will be about civil infrastructure. This book does not cover the conferences completely and new contributions are added.

The three themes are important contexts in which landscape ecologists do their research and apply their knowledge and skills. Of course, there are many more subjects to hold conferences about, for example climate change, urbanisation, agriculture, landscape ecology itself etc.
The focus of the conferences is on the Netherlands, with its urbanisation, intensive land use and water management as characteristic features. Although many WLO members do their work abroad or in an international context, these conferences offer a window on what happens in the Dutch context. The experiences may be of value for other contexts and that is why we present the results in English.

The selected themes and the focus on the Dutch context are serious demarcations of what landscape ecology in the Netherlands is all about. The book does not represent all research and applications of landscape ecology.