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The Importance of Species : Perspectives on Expendability and Triage - Peter M. Kareiva

The Importance of Species

Perspectives on Expendability and Triage

By: Peter M. Kareiva (Editor), Simon A. Levin (Editor)

Paperback Published: 29th December 2002
ISBN: 9780691090054
Number Of Pages: 440

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A great many species are threatened by the expanding human population. Though the public generally favors environmental protection, conservation does not come without sacrifice and cost. Many decision makers wonder if every species is worth the trouble. Of what consequence would the extinction of, say, spotted owls or snail darters be? Are some species expendable?

Given the reality of limited money for conservation efforts, there is a compelling need for scientists to help conservation practitioners set priorities and identify species most in need of urgent attention. Ecology should be capable of providing guidance that goes beyond the obvious impulse to protect economically valuable species (salmon) or aesthetically appealing ones (snow leopards). Although some recent books have considered the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity as an aggregate property, this is the first to focus on the value of particular species. It provides the scientific approaches and analyses available for asking what we can expect from losing (or gaining) species.

The contributors are outstanding ecologists, theoreticians, and evolutionary biologists who gathered for a symposium honoring Robert T. Paine, the community ecologist who experimentally demonstrated that a single predator species can act as a keystone species whose removal dramatically alters entire ecosystem communities. They build on Paine's work here by exploring whether we can identify species that play key roles in ecosystems before they are lost forever. These are some of our finest ecologists asking some of our hardest questions.

They are, in addition to the editors, S.E.B. Abella, G. C. Chang, D. Doak, A. L. Downing, W. T. Edmondson, A. S. Flecker, M. J. Ford, C.D.G. Harley, E. G. Leigh Jr., S. Lubetkin, S. M. Louda, M. Marvier, P. McElhany, B. A. Menge, W. F. Morris, S. Naeem, S. R. Palumbi, A. G. Power, T. A. Rand, R. B. Root, M. Ruckelshaus, J. Ruesink, D. E. Schindler, T. W. Schoener, D. Simberloff, D. A. Spiller, M. J. Wonham, and J. T. Wootton.

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"I recommend this book both as practical advice for conservation practitioners, and as a summary of recent theory and experiments for any ecologist interested in the interface between species and their communities and ecosystems."--Gareth J. Russell, Ecology

Contributorsp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Forewordp. xv
Using Experimental Removals of Species to Reveal the Consequences of Biodiversity Depletionp. 1
Native Thistles: Expendable or Integral to Ecosystem Resistance to Invasion?p. 5
The Overriding Importance of Environmental Context in Determining the Outcome of Species-Deletion Experimentsp. 16
Species Importance and Context: Spatial and Temporal Variation in Species Interactionsp. 44
Effects of Removing a Vertebrate versus an Invertebrate Predator on a Food Web, and What Is Their Relative Importance?p. 69
Understanding the Effects of Reduced Biodiversity: A Comparison of Two Approachesp. 85
The Anthropogenic Perspectivep. 105
Models of Ecosystem Reliability and Their Implications for the Question of Expendabilityp. 109
Predicting the Effects of Species Loss on Community Stabilityp. 140
One Fish, Two Fish, Old Fish, New Fish: Which Invasions Matter?p. 161
Ecological Gambling: Expendable Extinctions Versus Acceptable Invasionsp. 179
Rarity and Functional Importance in a Phytoplankton Communityp. 206
Community and Ecosystem Impacts of Single-Species Extinctionsp. 221
Linkages and Externalitiesp. 235
Social Conflict, Biological Ignorance, and Trying to Agree Which Species Are Expendablep. 239
Which Mutualists Are Most Essential? Buffering of Plant Reproduction against the Extinction of Pollinatorsp. 260
The Expendability of Species: A Test Case Based on the Caterpillars on Goldenrodsp. 281
An Evolutionary Perspective on the Importance of Species: Why Ecologists Care about Evolutionp. 292
Recovering Species of Conservation Concern-Are Populations Expendable?p. 305
Virus Specificity in Disease Systems: Are Species Redundant?p. 330
Conclusionp. 347
Referencesp. 353
Indexp. 415
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691090054
ISBN-10: 069109005X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 29th December 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.67 x 15.6  x 2.77
Weight (kg): 0.62