- Paperback: 223 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 5, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470235675
- ISBN-13: 978-0470235676
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,727,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Free-Living Freshwater Protozoa: A Color Guide 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
This color guide makes the identification of individual protozoa easily accessible to students and professionals and provides information on protozoan communities found in different environments by means of a wealth of color photomicrographs supported by original and detailed line drawings and concise text. Contains over 230 color photos and 500 detailed line drawings.
From the Back Cover
This exquisitely illustrated book is the definitive guide to the identification of protozoa. As well as over 230 high-quality colour photographs, it contains 500 detailed line drawings, showing essential features and making speedy and positive identification possible. The succinct and authoritative text is supported by extensive references. Communities of protozoa are dealt with in a separate section, which covers a range of environments and contains information on the significance of these communities as indicators of contamination and pollution. As well as being an essential teaching aid, Free-Living Freshwater Protozoa is a valuable guide for professional biologists involved with water, sewage treatment, rivers, soils and environmental management. it is also an important reference source for food science laboratories and public health and regulatory bodies. Free-Living Freshwater Protozoa includes:
- Collection, examination and recording of protozoa
- Identification using the highly illustrated key with supporting text and references
- Protozoan communities covering a range of man-made and natural environments
- Glossary of terms
- Extensive bibliography and reference lists
Top customer reviews
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The 22-page Introduction covers such topics as: What protozoa are; Distinguishing protozoa from other microbes; How to choose and care for a microscope; Contrast enhancement; Techniques of microscopical examination; Drawing and photographing protozoa; Video microscopy; Where to find and how to collect protozoa; Keeping samples; etc. A great deal of useful and practical advice will be found in this Introduction, some of which I haven't seen elsewhere.
For example, in discussing microscopes Patterson suggests that phase contrast optics will allow the protozoologist who is observing living organisms "to see more and to see it with ease," and that ideally phase contrast objectives should be used in preference to the bright-field (normal) variety (p.11). To illustrate the different kinds of visual information which different contrast enhancement techniques provide, he gives us, on pages 155-57, a fascinating series of photographs of the Paramecium bursaria as viewed under Bright-field, Phase contrast, Differential interference contrast, Dark ground, Interference contrast, Polarized light, Fluorescence microscopy, and various types of staining. The differences are striking.
I was also interested to note the author's concern for the welfare of these tiny and extremely delicate and fragile organisms while we are engaged in observing them. He warns us that "Usually, active motility is a sign of distress. Typical causes might be pressure from a coverslip, overheating, or depletion of oxygen. The cells move until they find a more favorable site." And he advises us that "The use of minimal illumination or gently blowing on a preparation as you observe it often 'calms' protozoa," thereby making them easier to observe (p.13). Other methods of limiting distress are also described, and great care should be taken not to heat the organism.
Following the Introduction we are given a 'Classification of protozoa,' line drawings of the main genera, and then the main part of the book, the step-by-step guide to identifying protozoa.
For each of the organisms covered in the book, the author gives a detailed description and bibliographical references, a color microphotograph (with the type of contrast enhancement used), line drawings which point up certain important features, and occasionally a detailed line drawing of the entire organism. The book concludes with line drawings of six Protozoan communities (Planktonic, Attached, Benthos, Organically rich benthos, Anoxic benthos, Sewage treatment plants), a 10-page Glossary of Terms, a scholarly Bibliography of over 400 items, and an index.
Dr Patterson's book is well-organized, easy to use, well-printed in double columns on 222 quarto size pages of high-quality glossy paper, stitched, bound in a waterproof wrapper, and sturdy enough to be taken into the field along with a field microscope such as the Swift FM-31-P40 LWD.
Although experts may find details to quibble about, speaking as an amateur I have only two criticisms of the book. The first is that the color microphotographs, although generally good, measure only 43mm x 70 mm and are far too small. Protozoa such as the Stentor (Fig. 216) or Tachysoma (Fig. 265) are among the most strikingly beautiful creations of Nature, and although Patterson's microphotography may not be quite up to the standards of a Werner Nachtigall, I get the feeling that he is a much better photographer than the tiny and rather average reproductions in this book would seem to suggest. All of the photographs are small, some are very dark, others not particularly clear, and few do full justice to either Nature's or, I suspect, Dr Patterson's own artistry, though together with the line drawings (most of which are are even tinier) they are adequate for purposes of identification.
My second criticism has to do with the very high price of the book, a price which one would have thought ought to have ensured a size and quality of color reproduction far superior to what we have been offered here. But despite its high price and its underwhelming reproductions of what must have been striking originals, this is a book which has much to offer any protozoa specialist or enthusiast who may be trying to pin down unidentified protozoa. It may just help you to decide whether you are looking at a Notosolenus (Fig.80) or a Petalomonas (Fig.83), or at something else! And students ought certainly to at least head for the library to read its excellent Introduction.
Given this, the appearance of a book of this quality is remarkable. Its utility is evident and I have now used it several times to help me identify protozoa in samples from sinkholes in New Mexico. I recommend it without reservation.