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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.

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 Reed Warblers

Diversity in a Uniform Bird Family

Bernd Leisler and Karl Schulze-Hagen

To the untrained eye, all reed warblers may look alike. Anyone who takes a closer look will quickly realize that there is in fact an amazing spectrum of different ecological and adaptive strategies across the world´s 53 species. Members of the reed warbler family have been models for this diversity in a large number of biological studies of avian lifestyles. Many of these have resulted in outstanding findings and set new standards in behavioural and evolutionary ecology.
The authors rise to the challenge of determining how the members of the family have diversified by comparing their relationships and ecologies. This comparative approach runs like a thread throughout this book and touches on almost all biological aspects, ranging from habitat use, competition and communication to reproduction and brood parasitism, mating systems, migration, population dynamics, island life and convergent evolution. The life strategies of these ‘little brown jobs’ exemplify some of the key topics in 21st century ornithology.
• Winner of the BB/BTO Best Bird Book of the Year 2012 award
• the members of the reed warbler family display an astonishing diversity in ecology and life strategies, and have been used extensively as models in research
• this integrative overview combines published and unpublished information and is richly illustrated with large numbers of photographs, drawings and maps
• a fascinating read for bird watchers and bird researchers alike
In cooperation with Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.

Inland Drift Sand Landscapes

Origin and History; Relief, Forest and Soil Development; Dynamics and Management

Josef Fanta and Henk Siepel

Man has had a complex relationship with inland drift sands through the ages. For some centuries these landscapes were seen as a threat, especially to agriculture and housing.
This book considers the processes, origin, conservation and restoration of this very special but harsh biotope, one that is characterised by fields of lichens with sparse grasses and heather alongside a range of special animal, fungi and plant species.
• Part 1 - Drift sand landscapes of NW Europe
• Part 2 - Microclimate and soil development
• Part 3 - Ecosystem succession on drift sands
• Part 4 - Forestation of drift sands
• Part 5 - Practical implications

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.

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.

Landscape Ecology in the Dutch Context

Nature, Town and Infrastructure

T.M. de Jong, J.N.M. Dekker and R. Posthoorn

This book is the result of three symposia of the Dutch Society for Landscape Ecology (Werkgemeenschap voor Landschapsecologisch Onderzoek) about
• the Dutch National Ecological Network
• Urban ecology
• and Civil infrastructure.
The three topics - among others - show important contexts in which landscape ecologists do their research and apply their knowledge and skills.
The book focuses on urbanisation, intensive land use and water management as characteristic features of the Netherlands and therefore presents an important view on landscape ecology in the Dutch context.

Shorebirds

An Illustrated Behavioural Ecology

Jan van de Kam, Bruno Ens, Theunis Piersma and Leo Zwarts

Shorebirds are the most visible inhabitants of coastal wetlands worldwide. Many undertake spectacularly long flights between their wintering and breeding grounds, embodying the miracle of long-distance migration in a profound way. In this illustrated behavioural ecology the migration, feeding and breeding of these birds are explained in a comprehensive but simple and visually stunning form.
The core of the book is based on studies of shorebirds and other waterbirds (such as ducks, geese and gulls) that migrate along the East Atlantic Flyway. The emphasis is on those using the Dutch, German and Danish Wadden Sea; examples from the rest of the world are also included.
The authors are experts in the fields of bird migration, shorebird behaviour and intertidal ecology, and have contributed much to our current understanding of these subjects. The 300 magnificent portraits of waterbirds in action were taken by Jan van de Kam, one of The Netherlands' foremost wildlife photographers.