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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.

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."

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.

Drawn after Nature

The Complete Botanical Watercolours of the 16th-Century Libri Picturati

Jan Koning, Gerda va Uffelen, Alicja Zemanek and Bogdan Zemanek

Drawn after nature presents a vivid and complete picture of a unique historical collection of botanical watercolours. Botanists, art lovers, historians as well as the general public will enjoy this publication of the watercolours, their annotations and their history, but above all their supreme beauty and display of craftsmanship.
For over 300 years, the Preußische Staatsbibliothek in Berlin held a most remarkable collection of botanical watercolours. They were catalogued as part of the library’s illustrated manuscripts, or Libri Picturati. These magnificent works of art, rich in colour and detail, were made in the second half of the 16th century in the southern part of the Low Countries.
In the 1970s the complete set of watercolours had been rediscovered and sparked the interest of historians, art historians and botanists alike. Together they set out to unravel the many secrets still held by the Libri Picturati’s watercolours: who had collected them, and why?
A team of pre-eminent European scientists worked together on these and other intriguing questions surrounding the collection. They unveiled the important role played by the famous Dutch botanist Carolus Clusius, who later founded the University of Leiden’s Botanical Gardens.
Drawn after nature contains accessible and informative chapters on the collection’s history, but most importantly: it brings together all of the original 1429 watercolours and sketches, for the first time in one volume, accompanied by their original annotations.

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.