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Biology and Wildlife of the Mediterranean Region Paperback – January, 2000

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"Synthesizes the history, ecology, and evolutionary biology of Mediterranean animals and plants and their habitats, focusing on the region's incredible biodiversity and causes for it. Coverage encompasses biological diversity at many spatial scales of space and biological integration, with chapters on species and community variations, life-history traits and ecosystem functioning, and humans as sculptors of Mediterranean landscapes. The writing style is informal, without technical jargon. Includes b&w maps and drawings. Blondel is director of research at CNRS, France; Aronson is research ecologist at CEFE/CNRS, France."--SciTech Book News

About the Author

Jacques Blondel is at Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive, Centre National de la Recherche, Montpellier. James Aronson is at Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive, Centre National de la Recherche, Montpellier.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198500351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198500353
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,668,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
If you are one of those lay readers who is endlessly curious and not put off by rather intense discussions of "the adaptive value of sclerophylly in mediterranean ecosystems", this book may really be for you. Although I suspect most ecotourists, one target audience, will lack the stamina for it, the book really does a fine job of conveying the excitement of the region in relatively jargon-free prose. The formatting also does much to lure the more casual reader with its adept use of illustrations, boxes, and subheads to break up the text. I was delighted to discover just how much the authors eschewed simple description in favor of spotlighting what is truly intriguing about the Mediterranean ecosystem.
Some of the highlights for me include: the description of the drying up and reflooding of the Mediterranean during the Miocene; the unusual incidence of species endemism and its relationship not only to topographical diversity but to unusual geological substrates; the profiles of curious creatures such as the blind cave salamander and Etruscan shrew; the range of adaptations to diverse environments, such as the case of the Turkish hippo that crossed over to Cyprus 100,000 years ago and dwindled to the size of a pig; the fascinating coevolution of figs and wasps; and most of all, the manifold impact that humans have had upon the region for the past 10,000 years (chapter 8). The authors conclude with a look at what can be done to sustain the biodiversity of this fascinating region.
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