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Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 11, Number 3, 2012

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 11, Issue 3 (2012): 546–550

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546 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 11, No. 3 Reproductive Biology and Phyologeny of A Field Guide to the Southeast Coast & Gulf of Mexico: Coastal Habitats, Seabirds, Marine Mammals, Fish, & Other Wildlife. Noble S. Proctor and Patrick J. Lynch. 2012. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 386 pp. $24, softcover, ISBN 9780300113280. This superb book, with its unique focus on the entire marine coastal environment, is the most comprehensive and up-to-date field guide available on the southeastern Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast. Not just for beachgoers, the book is essential for birders, whale watchers, fishers, boaters, scuba divers and snorkelers, and shoreline visitors. It features entries on 619 coastal and ocean species; more than 1100 color illustrations; 450 up-to-date range maps; overviews of key ecological communities, including mangroves, salt marshes, beaches, sand dunes, and coral reefs; special attention to threatened and endangered species; discussions of environmental issues, including such catastrophic events as Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon blowout; a glossary; and excellent organizational aids for locating information quickly. The Art of Ecology: Writings of G. Evelyn Hutchinson. David K. Skelly, David M. Post, and Melinda D. Smith (Editors). 2011. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 368 pp. $22, softcover, ISBN 9780300154498. During the twentieth century, ecology evolved from a collection of natural history facts to a rigorous, analytical discipline with a rich body of theory. No single person is more responsible for this change than G. Evelyn Hutchinson. This collection of selected writings showcases Hutchinson’s dynamic and wide-ranging mind as well as his keen wit. Original essays by scientists and historians underscore the continuing relevance of Hutchinson’s ideas. Capturing the Essence: Techniques for Bird Artists. William T. Cooper. 2011. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 128 pp. $42, softcover, ISBN 9780300176261. In this stunningly beautiful book, bird artist William T. Cooper explores and demonstrates all aspects of drawing and painting birds. Renowned for his gorgeous and accurate wildlife renderings, Cooper here explains in detail how to create a true impression of a bird’s appearance. The author describes his own experiences among birds in the wild, discusses bird anatomy, and lays out the essential principles of realistic painting. He guides 546 both seasoned artists and enthusiastic beginners through all the techniques and processes involved in depicting birds anywhere in the world. In the first part of the book, Cooper covers materials, bird anatomy, methods of working from captive birds (in zoos, for example), and methods for working in the field. He places special emphasis on the artist’s understanding of the subject and how this knowledge can be transformed into drawings and paintings. The second part of the book deals with watercolors, acrylics, and oil paints, explaining for each medium the step-by-step processes leading from beginning sketches to finished work. Birds of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire. Bart de Boer, Eric Newton, and Robin Restall. 2012. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 192 pp. $27.95, softcover. ISBN 9780691153360. Located in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire are home to a colorful diversity of bird species. Birds of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire is the first comprehensive field guide to the birds of the region and the ideal companion for identifying the islands’ remarkable avian population. This compact and portable book contains close to 1000 superb color illustrations on 71 color plates and detailed descriptions of every species. Concise text on facing pages highlights key identification features, including voice, habitat, behavior, and status. This field guide is essential for all birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts interested in this part of the world. How to Be a Better Birder. Derek Lovitch. 2012. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 208 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 9780691144481. This unique illustrated handbook provides all the essential tools you need to become a better birder. Here Derek Lovitch offers a more effective way to go about identification—he calls it the “Whole Bird and More” approach—that will enable you to identify more birds, more quickly, more of the time. He demonstrates how to use geography and an understanding of habitats, ecology, and even the weather to enrich your birding experience and help you find something out of the ordinary. Lovitch shows how to track nocturnal migrants using radar, collect data for bird conservation, discover exciting rarities, develop patch list—and much more. This is the ideal resource for intermediate and advanced birders. Whether you want to build a bigger list or simply learn more about birds, How to Be a Better Birder will take your birding skills to the next level. Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 11/3, 2012 2012 Noteworthy Books 547 Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Introduction to Marine Science. David W. Townsend. 2012. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 512 pp. $118.96, hardcover. ISBN 978087893601. Drawing from his experience having taught an introductory ocean science class to more than 5000 undergraduates over the past 15 years, Townsend has developed a textbook that follows his proven approach of building up the intuitive and still naïve interest most students have and show them why our oceans are, in fact, even more interesting—and important. Oceanography and Marine Biology preserves the basic elements of the physical, chemical, and geological aspects of the marine sciences, and merges those fundamentals into a broader framework of marine biology and ecology. Other textbooks on oceanography or marine biology tend to address the companion field only cursorily: very few pages in oceanography texts are devoted to marine biology, and vice versa. This new book overcomes that imbalance, bringing these disparate marine science text formats closer together, giving them more equal weight, and introducing more effectively the physical sciences by showing students with everyday examples how such concepts form the foundation upon which to build a better understanding of the marine environment in a changing world. Community Ecology. Gary G. Mittelbach. 2012. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 400 pp. $62.01, softcover. ISBN 9780878935093. Community Ecology is a book for graduate students, researchers, and advanced undergraduates seeking a broad, up-to-date coverage of ecological concepts at the community level. Community ecology has undergone a transformation in recent years, from a discipline largely focused on processes occurring within a local area to a discipline encompassing a much richer domain of study, including the linkages between communities separated in space (metacommunity dynamics), niche and neutral theory, the interplay between ecology and evolution (eco-evolutionary dynamics), and the influence of historical and regional processes in shaping patterns of biodiversity. To fully understand these new developments, however, students need a strong foundation in the study of species interactions and how these interactions are assembled into food webs and other ecological networks. Both “new” and “traditional” aspects of community ecology are covered in the book’s five sections: The Big Picture: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences of Biodiversity; The Nitty-Gritty: Species Interactions in Simple Modules; Putting the Pieces Together: Food Webs and Ecological Networks; Spatial Ecology: Metapopulations and Metacommunities; and Species in Changing Environments: Ecology and Evolution. Applied aspects of community ecology (e.g., resource harvesting, invasive species, community restoration) are treated throughout the book as natural extensions of basic theoretical and empirical work. Theoretical concepts are developed using simple equations, and there is an emphasis on the graphical presentation of ideas. Each chapter concludes with a summary. Parrots: The Animal Answer Guide. Matt Cameron. 2012. Johns Hopkins University Press, Balitmore, MD. 272 pp. $24.95, softcover. ISBN 9781421405445. Have you ever wondered what parrots eat in the wild? Or why so many species live in the Amazon? How intelligent are parrots? What is the world’s rarest parrot? Parrots: The Animal Answer Guide provides detailed, factual answers to the ninety questions most on our minds. There are more than 350 species of these colorful callers, ranging in size from the diminutive Lovebird to the massive Macaw. Many species can live to be octogenarians in captivity—sometimes outliving their human caretakers by decades. The beautiful plumage of parrots and the ability to mimic sounds are both a blessing and a curse. A number of species are in danger of extinction because they are captured and sold into the pet trade by unscrupulous dealers. Fortunately, most parrot owners and retailers rely on captive breeding, although an appalling amount of wild collection continues. In addition to discussing parrot behavior and biology, Matt Cameron reveals the truth about the trade in wild parrots and explains what each of us can do to help save native populations. Whether you are a parrot owner, birder, ornithologist, or curious naturalist, you will find that Cameron asks and fully answers every question you have about these incredible birds. This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America. Anthony Flint. 2012. Johns Hopkins University Press, Balitmore, MD. 312 pp. $24.95, softcover. ISBN 9781421407814. Despite a modest revival in city living, Americans are spreading out more than ever—into "exurbs" and “boomburbs” miles from anywhere, in big houses in big subdivisions. We cling to the notion of safer neighborhoods and better schools, but what we get, argues Anthony Flint, is long commutes, crushing gas prices, and higher taxes—and a landscape of strip malls and office parks badly in need of a makeover. This Land tells the untold story of development in America—how the landscape is shaped by a furious clash of political, economic, and cultural forces. It is the story of burgeoning 548 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 11, No. 3 anti-sprawl movement, a 1960s-style revolution of New Urbanism, smart growth, and green building. And it is the story of landowners fighting back on the basis of property rights, with free-market libertarians, homebuilders, road pavers, financial institutions, and even the lawn-care industry right alongside them. The subdivisions and extra-wide roadways are encroaching into the wetlands of Florida, ranchlands in Texas, and the desert outside Phoenix and Las Vegas. But with up to 120 million more people in the country by 2050, will the spread-out pattern cave in on itself? Could Americans embrace a new approach to development if it made sense for them? A veteran journalist who covered planning, development, and housing for the Boston Globe for sixteen years and a visiting scholar in 2005 at the Harvard Design School, Flint reveals some surprising truths about the future and how we live in This Land. The Case of the Green Turtle: An Uncensored History of a Conservation Icon. Alison Rieser. 2012. Johns Hopkins University Press, Balitmore, MD. 352 pp. $45, hardcover. ISBN 9781421405797. The journals of early maritime explorers traversing the Atlantic Ocean often describe swarms of sea turtles, once a plentiful source of food. Many populations had been decimated by the 1950s, when Archie Carr and others raised public awareness of their plight. One species, the Green Turtle, has been the most heavily exploited due to international demand for turtle products, especially Green Turtle soup. The species has achieved some measure of recovery due to thirty years of conservation efforts, but remains endangered. In The Case of the Green Turtle, Alison Rieser provides an unparalleled look into the way science and conservation interact by focusing on the most controversial aspect of Green Turtle conservation—farming. While proponents argued that farming Green Sea Turtles would help save them, opponents countered that it encouraged a taste for turtle flesh that would lead to the slaughter of wild stocks. The clash of these viewpoints once riveted the world. Rieser relies on her expertise in ocean ecology, policy, and law to reveal how the efforts to preserve sea turtles changed marine conservation and the way we view our role in the environment. Her study of this early conservation controversy will fascinate anyone who cares about sea turtles or the oceans in which they live. Waxcap Mushrooms of Eastern North America. Alan E. Bessette, William C. Roody, Walter E. Sturgeon, and Arleen R. Bessette. 2012. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY. 188 pp. $95, hardcover. ISBN 9780815632689. Members of the Hygrophoraceae family, commonly known as waxcaps, have long attracted the attention of mycologists and nature lovers. As a group, they are beautiful mushrooms. Those in the genus Hygrocybe are particularly colorful and eye-catching. Many waxcaps can be identified from field observations and macroscopic features of the fruiting bodies, further adding to their appeal for those lacking formal training in mycology. Waxcaps are usually well represented in general mushroom field guides. There have also been thorough scientific treatments of the North American species. Excellent as these works may be, they are not comprehensive, nontechnical guides that illustrate the eastern North American waxcaps in color. The work presented here is not intended to be a scientific treatment of the Hygrophoraceae; rather, it fills a gap between the sporadic coverage in general mushroom field guides and the more inclusive technical monographs that typically lack color illustrations. The geographical range of coverage includes eastern Canada, the United States east of the Great Plains and south to East Texas, the Gulf Coast, and Florida. Although the documented distribution of species is constantly being expanded as knowledge accumulates, most waxcaps that occur within this region are featured or discussed. With over 150 color illustrations and detailed descriptions, this book is an indispensable reference guide for waxcap identification. A World of Insects: The Harvard University Press Reader. Ring T. Cardé and Vincent H. Resh (Editors). 2012. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 416 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 9780674046191. As we follow the path of a Giant Water Bug or peer over the wing of a Gypsy Moth, we glimpse our world anew, at once shrunk and magnified. Owing to their size alone, insects’ experience of the world is radically different from ours. Air to them is as viscous as water to us. The predicament of size, along with the dizzying diversity of insects and their status as arguably the most successful organisms on earth, have inspired passion and eloquence in some of the world’s most innovative scientists. A World of Insects showcases classic works on insect behavior, physiology, and ecology published over half a century by Harvard University Press. James Costa, Vincent Dethier, Thomas Eisner, Lee Goff, Bernd Heinrich, Bert Hölldobler, Kenneth Roeder, Andrew Ross, Thomas Seeley, Karl von Frisch, Gilbert Waldbauer, E.O. Wilson, and Mark Winston—each writer, in his unique voice, paints a close-up portrait of the ways insects explore their environment, outmaneuver 2012 Noteworthy Books 549 The Southeastern Naturalist welcomes submissions of review copies of books that publishers or authors would like to recommend to the journal’s readership and are relevant to the journal’s mission of publishing information about the natural history of the southeastern US. Accompanying short, descriptive summaries of the text are also welcome. their enemies, mate, and care for kin. Selected by two world-class entomologists, these essays offer compelling descriptions of insect cooperation and warfare, the search for ancient insect DNA in amber, and the energy economics of hot-blooded insects. They also discuss the impact—for good and ill— of insects on our food supply, their role in crime scene investigation, and the popular fascination with pheromones, killer bees, and fire ants. Each entry begins with commentary on the authors, their topics, and the latest research in the field. What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World. Jon Young. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA. 272 pp. $22, hardcover. ISBN 9780547451251. A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided in his work and teaching by three basic premises: the Robin, Junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest; by tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit, and the birds’ companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs. Birds are the sentries—and our key to understanding the world beyond our front door. Unwitting humans create a zone of disturbance that scatters the wildlife. Respectful humans who heed the birds acquire an awareness that radically changes the dynamic. We are welcome in their habitat. The birds don’t fly away. The larger animals don’t race off. No longer hapless intruders, we now find, see, and engage the deer, the fox, the Red-shouldered Hawk—even the elusive, whispering Wren. Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over. Finally, science is catching up. This groundbreaking book unites the indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author’s own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, a deeper connection to ourselves. Cooler Smarter: Practial Steps for Low-Carbon Living. The Union of Concerned Scientists. 2012. Island Press,Washington, DC. 336 pp. $21.95, softcover. ISBN 9781610911924. How can each of us live Cooler Smarter? While the routine decisions that shape our days—what to have for dinner, where to shop, how to get to work—may seem small, collectively they have a big effect on global warming. But which changes in our lifestyles might make the biggest difference to the climate? This science-based guide shows you the most effective ways to cut your own global warming emissions by twenty percent or more, and explains why your individual contribution is so vital to addressing this global problem. Cooler Smarter is based on an in-depth, two-year study by the experts at The Union of Concerned Scientists. While other green guides suggest an array of tips, Cooler Smarter offers proven strategies to cut carbon, with chapters on transportation, home energy use, diet, personal consumption, as well as how best to influence your workplace, your community, and elected officials. The book explains how to make the biggest impact and when not to sweat the small stuff. It also turns many eco-myths on their head, like the importance of locally produced food or the superiority of all hybrid cars. The advice in Cooler Smarter can help save you money and live healthier. But its central purpose is to empower you, through low carbonliving, to confront one of society’s greatest threats. Biology and Management of Dogfish Sharks. Vincent Gallucci, Gordon McFarlane, and Gregory Bargmann (Editors). 2009. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 435 pp. $69, hardcover. ISBN 9781934874073. The Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is one of the most abundant shark species in the world. For over a century, it has been both reviled and valued, has supported commercial fisheries in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and has been overexploited in both. As the only shark species to recover from over-fishing, its responses and recovery trajectories are of great interest to conservationists and fishery managers. The book’s 34 chapters compile current knowledge of dogfish, their ecology, and their management worldwide. It reviews historical fisheries, evaluates past and current management strategies, and provides new biological and ecological information from both the single species and ecosystems perspectives. It confirms the urgency of consideration of the human dimensions of management as part of efforts to protect dogfish where it is threatened while providing sustainable fisheries. 550 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 11, No. 3