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Noteworthy Books received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Issue 4

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Issue 4 (2013): B1–B7

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B7 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 4 Forest Ecosystems, Second Edition. David A. Perry, Ram Oren, and Stephen C. Hart. 2013. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 632 pp. $90.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780801888403. This acclaimed textbook is the most comprehensive available in the field of forest ecology. Designed for advanced students of forest science, ecology, and environmental studies, it is also an essential reference for forest ecologists, foresters, and land managers. The authors provide an inclusive survey of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests with an emphasis on ecological concepts across scales that range from global to landscape to microscopic. Situating forests in the context of larger landscapes, they reveal the complex patterns and processes observed in tree-dominated habitats. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico, Volume 1. Carl H. Ernst and Evelyn M. Ernst. 2011. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 392 pp. $75.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780801898754. Carl and Evelyn Ernst have completely revised their landmark reference Venomous Reptiles of North America to present the most comprehensive review of these animals in years. Volume One of this definitive work presents dramatically improved species accounts of the venomous lizards and elapid and viperid snakes found north of Mexico’s twenty-fifth parallel. Volume 2 will cover the twenty-one rattlesnakes found in the United States, Canada, and, for the first time, species found only in northern Mexico. Ernst and Ernst have painstakingly researched and verified the highly valuable and detailed information in this volume, including every detail of the lives of these fascinating and sometimes deadly animals. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico provides facts on each animal’s diet, reproductive behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation status. The book also covers details on snakebite, how venom is delivered, venom composition, antivenom production, and medical treatments of envenomation. Each species account includes vivid photographs that aid with identification and detailed maps that show the species range. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico represents the latest research on these animals and includes the most extensive bibliography of literature on the subject. Anyone with an interest in venom, snakes, or herpetology in general will find a wealth of information within the pages of these impressive volumes. Biogeography and Biodiversity of Western Atlantic Mollusks. Edward J. Petuch. 2013. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 252 pp. $159.95, hardcover. ISBN 9781466579798. Shallow water marine molluscan faunas are distributed in a pattern of distinct, geographically definable areas. This makes mollusks ideal for studying the distribution of organisms in the marine environment and the processes and patterns that control their evolution. Biogeography and Biodiversity of Western Atlantic Mollusks is the first book to use quantitative methodologies to define marine molluscan biogeographical patterns. It traces the historical development of these patterns for the subtropical and tropical western Atlantic. The book discusses the multistage process of evolving new taxa caused by eustatic fluctuations, ecological stress, and evolutionary selection. Drawing on his decades of intensive field work, the author defines three western Atlantic molluscan provinces and 15 subprovinces based on his Provincial Combined Index, a modern refinement of Valentine’s 50% rule. The faunal provinces—Carolinian, Caribbean, and Brazilian—are discussed in detail. The text defines the physical aspects of the provinces using quantitative data, with water temperature as the primary parameter. It discusses the details of the 15 subprovinces—geographically definable faunal subdivisions—as well as provinciatones, transition zones of provincial overlap. The author’s algorithms demonstrate that the bulk of the molluscan biodiversity is concentrated in 40 separate centers of speciation, ranging from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, south to Argentina. Many of these evolutionary hotspots reside on remote archipelagos and offshore banks as well as within areas of provincial overlap. The text describes some of the more exotic and poorly known areas and presents maps and color photographs of characteristic habitats, index species, and live animals, including over 400 species of rare and seldom seen shells. Biology and Management of Inland Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass. James S. Bulak, Charles C. Coutant, and James A. Rice (Eds.). 2013. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 588 pp. $79.00, hardcover. ISBN 9781934874363. The book provides a first-ever, comprehensive overview of the biology and management of striped bass and hybrid striped bass in the inland waters of the United States. The book’s 34 chapters are divided into nine major sections: History, Habitat, Growth and Condition, Population and Harvest Evaluation, Stocking Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 12/4, 2013 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 4 B8 Evaluations, Natural Reproduction, Harvest Regulations, Conflicts, and Economics. A concluding chapter discusses challenges and opportunities currently facing these fisheries. This compendium will serve as a single-source reference for those who manage or are interested in inland striped bass or hybrid striped bass fisheries. Fishery managers and students will benefit from this up-to-date overview of priority topics and techniques. Serious anglers will benefit from the extensive information on the biology and behavior of these popular sport fishes. Letters from Alabama: Chiefly Relating to Natural History. Philip Henry Gosse. 2012. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 312 pp. $34.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780817317898. This new and improved edition of Letters from Alabama offers a valuable window into pioneer Alabama and the landscape and life-forms encountered by early settlers of the state. Philip Henry Gosse (1810–1888), a British naturalist, left home at age seventeen and made his way to Alabama in 1838. He was employed by Judge Reuben Saffold and other planters near Pleasant Hill in Dallas County as a teacher for about a dozen of their children, but his principal interest was natural history. Letters from Alabama is a personalized record of Gosse’s perceptive observations during his eight-month residence in this small antebellum community. The work addresses a Victorian readership, including entomologists, who Gosse believed were relatively uninformed about the novelty and beauty of this “hilly region of the State of Alabama”. Written in an engaging literary style and organized as a series of epistolary discussions, the book is unparalleled in its detailed evocations of the natural history and cultural conditions of frontier Alabama. By the time Letters from Alabama appeared in 1859, Gosse’s scientific publications and fine illustrations had led to his being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. Edited by Gary R. Mullen and Taylor D. Littleton, this authoritative edition features thirty grayscale lithographs shot directly from the 1859 edition, reset type for easier reading, a new introduction and index by the two foremost scholars of Gosse in Alabama, a new appendix that provides modern scientific and common names for the plant and animal species described by Gosse, and a four-color cover featuring one of the plates from Gosse’s Entomologia Alabamensis. Hummingbirds of Texas. Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay, and Mark C. Klym. 2009. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX. 112 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 9781603441100. Written for a general audience, with spectacular images for birders and nature enthusiasts at every level, Hummingbirds of Texas reveals the enormous appeal of this tiniest and shiniest of birds. The book opens with a look at the many manifestations of the human attraction to these flying jewels. The authors then showcase the nineteen different hummingbird species that have appeared in the region covered by the book. Magnificent color photographs and original artwork aid in identification and accompany descriptions, range maps, and abundance graphs for each species. Birding the Southwestern National Parks. Roland H. Wauer. 2004. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX. 216 pp. $35.00, hardcover. ISBN 9781585442867. At the end of the twentieth century, roughly 265 million people visited the 374 sites in the American National Park System. These places, designated and protected because of their significance to our nation’s historical and natural heritage, contain some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States—landscapes that naturally lend themselves to outdoor recreation. In this book, veteran parks interpreter Ro Wauer introduces the pleasures of birding in the national parks of the American Southwest. From California to Texas, from hugely popular destinations such as Arizona’s Grand Canyon to the mostly undiscovered shores of Amistad National Recreation Area, Wauer visits seventeen sites and gives us his advice on what birds to expect to see and where and how to find them. Written by a birder for birders, this book introduces readers to some of the best birding north of the Mexican border, as well as some of the most impressive scenery anywhere. Wauer takes readers on a personal tour, pointing out where to go to see a vast array of each park’s bird life: Le Conte’s Thrashers in Death Valley, Clark’s and Western Grebes at Lake Mead, Phainopeplas at Organ Pipe Cactus, Lucy’s Warblers at Saguaro, Peregrine Falcons in Grand Canyon, Cave Swallows at Carlsbad Caverns, Magnificent Hummingbirds at Guadalupe Mountains, and Colima Warblers in Big Bend. Birding the Southwestern National Parks is written for anyone visiting, planning to visit, or dreaming of visiting the southwestern national parks. Ecological Sustainability: Understanding Complex Issues. Robert B. Northrop and Anne N. Connor. 2013. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 548 pp. $129.95, hardcover. ISBN 9781466565128. ComB9 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 4 plex Systems is a new field of science studying how parts of a system give rise to the collective behaviors of the system, and how the system interacts with its environment. This book examines the complex systems involved in environmental sustainability, and examines the technologies involved to help mitigate human impacts, such as renewable energy, desalination, carbon capture, recycling, etc. It considers the relationships and balance between environmental engineering and science, economics, and human activity, with regard to sustainability. Fossil Behavior Compendium. Arthur J. Boucot and George O. Poinar, Jr. 2010. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 424 pp. $134.36, hardcover. ISBN 9781439810583. In this complete and thorough update of Arthur Boucot’s seminal work, Evolutionary Paleobiology of Behavior and Coevolution, Boucot is joined by George Poinar, who provides additional expertise and knowledge on protozoans and bacteria as applied to disease. Together, they make the Fossil Behavior Compendium wider in scope, covering all relevant animal and plant groups and all epochs, and providing a detailed review of animal and plant fossil behavior in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Fossil behavior encompasses not only past evidence of the life history of an organism but also behavioral, predatoy, and symbiotic interactions, including parasitism. This book compares patterns of behavior and coevolution in the past with those of the present-day descendants. It also discusses how to evaluate the rates of evolution of behavior and coevolution at various taxonomic levels. The compendium emphasizes the interactions between fossils and compares these interactions with present-day counterparts. It also provides new discussions on topics related to fossils in amber. Keeping Boucot’s trademark, easy-to-read style, the book includes new findings never published previously, reports not easily accessed, numerous examples, 40 tables, 285 illustrations—some published here for the first time—and a four-page color insert. The book provides a concise account of the evidence for varied disease types recognized to date in the fossil record. The Wildlife Techniques Manual: Volume 1: Research. Volume 2: Management, 2-vol. set, Seventh Edition. Nova J. Silvy (Ed.). 2012. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 1136 pp. $150.00, hardcover. ISBN 9781421401591. Since its original publication in 1960, The Wildlife Techniques Manual has remained the cornerstone text for the professional wildlife biologist. Now fully revised and updated, this seventh edition promises to be the most comprehensive resource on wildlife biology, conservation, and management for years to come. Superbly edited by Nova J. Silvy, the thirtyseven authoritative chapters included in this work provide a full synthesis of methods used in the field and laboratory. Chapter authors, all leading wildlife professionals, explain and critique traditional and new methodologies and offer thorough discussions of a wide range of relevant topics. A standard text in a variety of courses, the Techniques Manual, as it is commonly called, covers every aspect of modern wildlife management and provides practical information for applying the hundreds of methods described in its pages. To effectively incorporate the explosion of new information in the wildlife profession, this latest edition is logically organized into a two-volume set: Volume 1 is devoted to research techniques, and Volume 2 focuses on management methodologies. The Wildlife Techniques Manual is a resource that professionals and students in wildlife biology, conservation, and management simply cannot do without. Turtles of the United States and Canada, Second Edition. Carl H. Ernst and Jeffrey E. Lovich. 2009. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 840 pp. $98.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780801891212. Ernst and Lovich’s thoroughly revised edition of this classic reference provides the most updated information ever assembled on the natural histories of North American turtles. From diminutive mud turtles to giant alligator snappers, two of North America’s most prominent experts describe the turtles that live in the fresh, brackish, and marine waters north of Mexico. Incorporating the explosion of new scientific information published on turtles over the past fifteen years—including the identification of four new species—Ernst and Lovich supply comprehensive coverage of all fifty-eight species, with discussions of conservation status and recovery efforts. Each species account contains information on identification, genetics, fossil record, distribution, geographic variation, habitat, behavior, reproduction, biology, growth and longevity, food habits, populations, predators, and conservation status. The book includes range maps for freshwater and terrestrial species, a glossary of scientific names, an extensive bibliography for further research, and an index to scientific and common names. Logically organized and richly Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 4 B10 Richard B. Primack. 2012. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 363 pp. $65.41, softcover. ISBN 9780878936236. A Primer of Conservation Biology, Fifth Edition incorporates background, theory, and examples in a lively and readable text that will appeal to a wide audience and stimulate interest in conservation biology. The book provides the most up-to-date perspective on many high-profile issues in the field, such as sustainable development, global warming, payments for ecosystem services, and strategies to save species on the verge of extinction. The Primer is divided into nine chapters, focusing successively on biological diversity and its value, the threats to biological diversity, conservation at the population and species levels, protecting, managing and restoring ecosystems, and sustainable development. The book provides many examples of successful conservation approaches, such as one involving sea turtles in Brazil, and ends with suggestions for a future agenda. Throughout, the choice of examples is well balanced to show the full range of species, ecosystems, and geographic areas of the world. These examples are also selected to demonstrate the controversies in the field, and stimulate thought and discussion. The links between conservation biology and environmental law, environmental economics, philosophy, social sciences and anthropology, park management, and government policy are clearly presented. The book is very well illustrated in color. The reader-friendly text is backed by an extensive bibliography (covering literature through 2012) and a glossary. There is an annotated list of suggested readings, a summary, and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Key conservation organizations and their websites are presented in an Appendix. A Primer of Conservation Biology is ideally suited for use in short undergraduate courses, either as a standalone text or supplemented by outside readings. It can also be used effectively as a supplemental resource in courses in introductory biology, general ecology, population biology, environmental science, and wildlife management. Its broad perspective, concise format, and appealing writing style make the Primer the perfect choice for students, professionals, government policymakers, and others who are eager to learn more about conservation biology. These same qualities give the book a strong appeal to students whose first language is not English. The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature. David George Haskell. 2012. Penguin Group, New York, NY. 288 pp. $16.00, softcover. ISBN 9780143122944. Written with remarkable grace illustrated—with more than two hundred color photographs and fifty-two maps—Turtles of the United States and Canada remains the standard for libraries, museums, nature centers, field biologists, and professional and amateur herpetologists alike. Animal Physiology, Third Edition. Richard W. Hill, Gordon A. Wyse, and Margaret Anderson. 2012. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 799 pp. $123.21, hardcover. ISBN 9780878935598. Animal Physiology presents all the branches of modern animal physiology with a strong emphasis on integration of physiological knowledge, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Integration extends from molecules to organ systems and from one physiological discipline to another. The book takes an entirely fresh approach to each topic. Its full-color illustrations include many novel, visually effective features to help students learn. Each of the 25 main chapters starts with a brief animal example to engage student interest and demonstrate the value of the material that will be learned. The book includes five additional, briefer “At Work” chapters that apply students’ newfound physiological knowledge to curiosity-provoking and important topics, including diving by marine mammals, the mechanisms of navigation, and muscle plasticity in use and disuse. The book is committed to a comparative approach throughout. Whereas mammalian physiology is consistently treated in depth, emphasis is also given to the other vertebrate groups, arthropods, molluscs, and—as appropriate—additional invertebrates. Concepts and integrative themes are emphasized while giving students the specifics they need. The whole animal is the principal focus of this book. The pages are filled with information on everything from knockout mice, genomics, and enzyme chemistry to traditional organ physiology, phylogenetic analysis, and applications to human affairs. Always, the central organizing principle for the array of topics presented is to understand whole animals in the environments where they live. Concepts from chemistry, physics, and mathematics are explained so that the book will be accessible to science students at the sophomore or higher level. Complex principles are developed clearly and carefully, to help students understand important concepts in sufficient depth without being overwhelmed. Pedagogical aids include embedded summaries throughout chapters, study questions, partially annotated reference lists, an extensive glossary, appendices, and an upgraded index. For all three authors, teaching physiology to undergraduate students has been a lifelong priority. A Primer of Conservation Biology, Fifth Edition. B11 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 4 destruction of their habitats, malicious killing, the pet trade, hunting, and pollution—and describes the most common methods employed by herpetologists and wildlife biologists to safely capture and document reptiles in nature. Complete with a checklist that will help readers keep track of reptiles they discover, a glossary, and a list of recommended readings, organizations, and websites for those seeking additional information, Reptiles of Tennessee will prove an essential resource for teachers, biologists, and anyone having a stake in the conservation of biodiversity and the natural heritage of the Volunteer State and the nation. The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms. Walter M. Goldberg. P2013. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 401 pp. $55.00, softcover. ISBN 9780226301686. Reefs provide a wealth of opportunity for learning about biological and ecosystem processes, and reef biology courses are among the most popular in marine biology and zoology departments the world over. Walter M. Goldberg has taught one such course for years, and he marshals that experience in the pages of The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms. Goldberg examines the nature not only of coral reefs—the best known among types of reefs—but also of sponge reefs, worm reefs, and oyster reefs, explaining the factors that influence their growth, distribution, and structure. A central focus of the book is reef construction, and Goldberg details the plants and animals that form the scaffold of the reef system and allow for the attachment and growth of other organisms, including those that function as bafflers, binders, and cementing agents. He also tours readers through reef ecology, paleontology, and biogeography, all of which serve as background for the problems reefs face today and the challenge of their conservation. Visually impressive, profusely illustrated, and easy to read, The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms offers a fascinating introduction to reef science and will appeal to students and instructors of marine biology, comparative zoology, and oceanography. and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Biologist David George Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature’s path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Beginning with simple observations—a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter, the first blossom of spring wildflowers—Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology, ecology, and poetry, explaining the science binding together ecosystems that have cycled for thousands—sometimes millions—of years. The Reptiles of Tennessee. Matthew L. Niemiller, R. Graham Reynolds, and Brian T. Miller (Eds.). 2013. Univiersity of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN. 366 pp. $49.95, softcover. ISBN 1572339497. Tennessee’s biotic diversity has been well documented in field guides dedicated to its wildflowers; trees, shrubs, and woody vines; mussels; fishes; amphibians; and birds. Glaringly absent from this assemblage, however, is an equivalent statewide guide to the remarkably diverse reptiles of the Volunteer State. This book fills that void by offering the first authoritative overview of all sixty native species of reptiles occurring in Tennessee. Both a field guide and a scientific reference, this definitive work will prove useful to professionals who work with reptiles for a living as well as those just curious about the various creatures living in their own backyards. The bulk of the book is devoted to individual species accounts, each of which includes a detailed range map and comprehensive information on identification, natural history, and conservation of the lizards, snakes, turtles, and alligator native to Tennessee. Also included is information on known introduced species and species whose presence in Tennessee is questionable. Vivid color photographs illustrate each species’ various life stages. Introductory chapters provide an overview of reptile anatomy and life history, and of the geography, climate, and habitats in the state. Giving special attention to reptile conservation, the book highlights various threats to Tennessee’s reptile species—including the 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.