Chance and Change: Ecology for Conservationists
The result of a lifetime in the field and in the classroom, Chance and Change challenges many of the tenets of establishment ecology. Charging that most of the environmental movement has ignored or rejected the changes in thinking that have infiltrated ecological theory since the mid 70s, William Drury presents a convincing case that disorder is what makes the natural world work, and that clinging to romantic notions of nature's grand design only saps the strength of the conservation movement. Drury's training in botany, geology, and zoology as well as his life-long devotion to work in the field gave him a depth and range of knowledge that few ecologists possess. This book opens our eyes to a new way of looking at the environment and forces us to think more deeply about nature and our role in it.
Chance and Change is intended for the serious amateur naturalist or professional conservationist. Drury argues that chance and change are the rule, that the future is as unpredictable to other organisms as it is to us, and that natural disturbance is too frequent for equilibrium models to be useful. He stresses the centrality of natural selection in explaining the meaning of biology and insists the book and the laboratory must be checked at all times against the real world. Written in an easy, personal style, Drury's narrative comes alive with the landscape—the salt marshes, dunes, seashores, and forests—that he believed served as the best classroom. His novel approach of correlating landscape evolution with ecological principles offers a welcome corrective to discordance between what we observe in nature and what theory tells us we should see.
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Chance and change: ecology for conservationistsUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Writing for both the amateur naturalist and the professional conservationist, Drury challenges traditional ecological theories with the argument that nature is not the result of a grand design. He ... Read full review
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animals Arctic terns areas assumptions balsam poplar beach behavior Bill biologists biology birch birds botanical botanists breeding chapter chicks Clements climax climax community clutch common tern competition concept conservation cycle density density-dependent deposits dispersal distribution disturbance Drury ecologists ecology ecosystems effects eggs England environmental equilibrium Ernst Mayr erosion evidence feeding floodplain geological glacial grass growth gulleries gulls nesting habitat Harvard Forest human idea important increase individuals interactions intertidal Irish moss islands K-Selection landscape larvae laughing gulls lemmings lower meanders move movement mussels natural selection Naturalist Nisbet organisms patches patterns peneplain persist Petit Manan pomarine jaeger population regulation predators prey processes Raup river salt marsh salt marsh hay Seabirds sediments seedlings slopes soil species spruce stable studies successional suggests surface terns thatch theory of succession tion tits trees uplands valley vegetation warblers waves white spruce wood warblers young zones
Page 8 - I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill ; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Page 21 - an old and relatively primitive system, isolated from its surroundings. Within it matter circulates, and controls operate to produce an equilibrium comparable with that in a similar area of land. In this microcosm nothing can be fully understood until its relationship to the whole is clearly seen. . . . The lake appears as an organic system, a balance between building up and breaking down in which the struggle for existence and natural selection have produced an equilibrium, a 'community of interest',...
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