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184 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No. 1
Book Reviews of the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 5/1, 2006
Forest Plants of the Southeast and
Their Wildlife Uses. Revised Edition.
James H. Miller and Karl V. Miller. 2005.
The University of Georgia Press, Athens,
GA. 454 pp. $34.95, softcover. ISBN
0820327484. This guide to about 330 species
of plants includes forbs, graminoids,
vines, and shrubs, emphasizing their use
to wildlife. A description is provided for
each genera, and the common species are
listed with descriptions of stems, leaves,
flowers, fruits and seeds, range, ecology,
and synonyms. Packed with 650 glossy
color photos, this field guide will be useful
to students, landowners, and anyone
interested in plant identification and the
interactions between plants and wildlife.
A glossary and figures illustrating flower
parts, grass parts, and leaf and flower arrangements
will aid the beginner in identification.
A reference section and an index
of wildlife species are included, as
well as an index to the plants’ scientific
and common names. C.R.
Disconnected Rivers: Linking Rivers to
Landscapes. Ellen Wohl. 2004. Yale
University Press, New Haven, CT. 301
pp. $35, hardcover. ISBN 0300103328 A
well organized survey of the present state
of major river systems in North America.
Introduces the basic physical, chemical
and biological processes of free flowing
rivers. Uses case studies from specific regions
and rivers to highlight current
threats and problems. Each case study includes
impacts on an animal unique to the
region. Threat topics include mining, both
historical and contemporary, dams and
governmental bureaucracy, and industrial
chemical pollution. Lacks a chapter devoted
to agricultural practices and impacts.
Interesting chapter on river restoration
and rehabilitation. Extensive notes.
Slightly technical for the casual reader,
but within reach for general audience.
Black and white photos. A well informed,
earnest book. S.O’M.
A Guide to Wildlife Sounds. Lang
Elliot. 2005. Stackpole Books,
Mechanicsburg, PA. 106 pp. $24.95
softcover (includes audio CD). ISBN
0811731901 A generalist’s guide to wildlife
sounds including the sounds of one
hundred North American mammals,
birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Small book includes a well organized and
clear audio CD. Audio selections are
short but representative. Book contains
good color photos of each species, range
and habitat information, and a description
of the sounds heard on the CD. Treats
most commonly encountered mammals,
common birds with distinctive calls,
many frogs, and especially noisy insects.
Excellent for beginners. CD is a useful
and unique reference for any library.
Birds of Two Worlds: The Ecology and
Evolution of Migration. Russell
Greenberg and Peter P. Marra (Eds.).
2005. The Johns Hopkins University
Press, Baltimore, MD. 466 pp. $110,
hardcover. ISBN 0801881072. The seasonal
migrations of birds between continents
ranks as one of the most intriguing
and amazing phenomena of the natural
world. Traveling thousands of miles at
high altitudes over imposing geographical
barriers is a way of life for hundreds of
species of birds, and the questions posed
by these travels have long been the object
of study by ornithologists and other biologists.
This volume presents some of the
most up to date research on this topic, and
together with two earlier classics on the
subject, Migrant Birds in the Neotropics
and Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical
Migrant Landbirds, completes a trilogy
of books essential to a professional
understanding of migratory behavior and
biology. Divided into seven parts, this
volume brings together the work of international
experts on evolution, adaptations,
biogeography, connectivity, migra2006
Book Reviews 185
tion, and behavioral and population ecology.
Extensively referenced to the literature,
and an important resource for professionals
and serious birders. S.E.
Chasing Neotropical Birds. Vera and
Bob Thornton. 2005. University of Texas
Press, Austin, TX. 240 pp. $34.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0292705891. The forests of
Central and South America are home to
some of the most unusual and brightly
colored birds on the planet. The
Thorntons have spent 15 years searching
out and photographing these birds in
eleven different countries from Guatemala
to Brazil, and this book details their
adventures and showcases over one hundred
of their favorite photographs. The
result is an entertaining and engaging
story of how two avid bird watchers took
some of the most spectacular and beautiful
photographs of tropical birds ever
published. This book is for anyone who
loves nature photography or birding, and
it is a fine introduction to the beauty and
diversity of this region for anyone who
plans on traveling there. S.E.
Tropical Rainforests: Past, Present,
and Future. Eldredge Bermingham,
Christopher W. Dick, and Craig Moritz
(Eds.). 2005. The University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, IL. 672 pp. $45,
softcover. ISBN 0226044688. This volume
is a synthesis of research findings by
62 evolutionary biologists and ecologists
engaged in the study of tropical rainforest
communities and species diversity. Drawing
upon the disciplines of paleoecology,
climatology, geology, molecular systematics,
biogeography, and community ecology,
this work examines evolutionary histories,
climate change, and ecological dynamics
of tropical rainforests. The Australian
Wet Tropics are showcased as an
example of this integrated approach that
can be applied to other rainforest ecosystems.
The fossil and geographical record
coupled with present day findings offer
insight into the future of tropical
rainforests in the face of human activity
and global climate change predictions.
This is a scholarly and technical work,
well referenced to the literature and
supplemented with 8 color plates, 131
line drawings, and 46 tables. An important
reference for any scientist studying
tropical rainforests, this volume also provides
a sound scientific basis for conservation
The Eastern Cougar: Historic Accounts,
Scientific Investigations, and
New Evidence. Chris Bolgiano and Jerry
Roberts (Eds.). 2005. Stackpole Books,
Mechanicsburg, PA. 246 pp. $19.95,
softcover. ISBN 0811732185. Few animals
in North America have the mystique
of the cougar, and few arouse as much
fear. This big cat has been hunted to near
extinction throughout much of its former
range, and on the east coast only isolated
populations in Florida and Canada remain,
or so goes the conventional wisdom.
This book provides a historical account
of the eastern cougar and then addresses
the question of whether it can still
survive in any of the states along the eastern
seaboard. Numerous sightings
throughout the years suggest that there
may still be some cougars left roaming
eastern forests, but whether these are escaped
“pets” or truly wild animals remains
a question of hot debate. This book
presents the evidence and leaves it up to
the reader to decide. Informative and of
great interest. S.E.
Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and
Rise of an American Forest. Lawrence
S. Earley. 2004. The University of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 336 pp.
$27.50, hardcover. ISBN 0807828866.
The southeastern United States from the
Atlantic coast to the Mississippi flood
plain was once dominated by over 92 million
acres of forests of longleaf pine.
These graceful, long needled pines often
grew in forests of widely spaced trees
with an understory of grasses, giving
186 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No. 1
them a park-like spaciousness that filled
early explorers and settlers with delight
and wonder. Today, little remains of these
original forests, and this book tells the
story of how “need, greed, and mismanagement”
resulted in the loss of an amazing
and unique ecosystem. Lawrence
Earley’s wide ranging account is a history
of the southeast, an informative natural
history, and a paean to a beautiful tree.
We learn of the important role of fire in
this ecosystem, of the now endangered
plant and animal species that relied upon
it, and of how the quest for turpentine and
lumber led to a loss unsurpassed in severity
by the decline of any of the planet’s
other great ecosystems. Most importantly,
we learn of the efforts to conserve and
regenerate these forests — efforts which,
though difficult and halting, ultimately
bring hope and inspiration. S.E.
Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the
Forest. Joan Maloof. 2005. The University
of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 156
pp. $24.95 hardcover. ISBN0820327433.
A collection of essays, each centered a
single tree species. Maloof reveals little
known facts about the trees we all thought
we knew so well and many of the other
organisms with which they interact. She
is a skilled and engaging storyteller. This
small book is suitable for anyone who
enjoys reading about nature and is fascinated
by the many unseen interactions between
Ecology & Evolution in the Tropics: A
Herpetological Perspective. Maureen A.
Donnelly, Brian I. Crother, Craig Guyer,
Marvalee H. Wake, and Mary E. White
(Eds.). 2005. The University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, IL. 675 pp. $45,
softcover. ISBN 0226156575. This book
is a synopsis of scientific research into the
systematics, evolution, and biology of
tropical amphibians and reptiles, with
contributions from twenty-nine renowned
scientists. The contributions include surveys
of the herpetofauna found in a range
of tropical ecosystems, discussions of
evolution, systematics, and molecular
taxonomy, and details of pit viper and
tropical frog research. This is a text written
by specialists for specialists. It is well
referenced to the literature, and provides
important baseline information that will
be of great value for future research efforts.
Sure to be valued by herpetologists
and researchers studying tropical ecosystems.
Tropical Ecosystems and Ecological
Concepts. Patrick L. Osborne. 2000.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
UK. 464 pp. $45, softcover. ISBN
0521642515. This is a good introductory
textbook for students of tropical ecology.
It is international in scope and covers both
aquatic and terrestrial tropical ecosystems.
Basic ecological concepts are introduced
and discussed in the context of a
broad range of habitats, including deserts,
rain forests, savannas, mangroves, wetlands,
lakes and rivers, mountains, and
coral reefs and tropical islands. Important
conservation issues such as biodiversity,
human impacts, sustainability, and climate
change are also discussed. The text
is well supported with tables, figures,
maps, and photos, with a glossary and
references at the end. This is a concise
and valuable synthesis of a broad area of
study, sure to become a widely used
teaching text. S.E.
Evolution on Planet Earth: The Impact
of the Physical Environment. Lynn J.
Rothschild and Adrian M. Lister (Eds.).
2003. Academic Press, London. 438 pp.
$69.95, hardcover. ISBN 0125986556.
Charles Darwin proposed that the environment
was a major force driving evolutionary
change, and this fascinating book
addresses exactly how key events in the
evolution of life have been shaped by the
changing environment of our planet.
Chapters address how major planetary
events such as ice ages and other forms of
climate change, the composition of atmo2006
Book Reviews 187
spheric gases, and continental drift have
strongly influenced the course of life. Ultimately,
the authors ask about whether
life may have evolved on other planets,
given what we know about the physical
characteristics of those planets. The product
of a 1999 Linnean Society meeting
with contributions by many eminent scientists,
this book includes many color
plates, tables and diagrams, and is well
referenced to the literature. An excellent
text for introductory courses in biology,
geology, and evolution. S.E.
The Smaller Majority. Piotr Naskrecki.
2005. Harvard University Press, Cambridge,
MA. 278 pp. $35, hardcover.
ISBN 0674019156 An astonishing book
of photographs and writing about tiny
creatures: the insects, arachnids, frogs,
crustaceans, and reptiles that inhabit the
globe’s tropical regions. The majority are
from rainforest ecosystems, although
grasslands and desserts are also included.
All animals are photographed live and in
situ. Each ecosystem type is roughly organized
by animal group and paired with an
essay. Lengthy and informative captions
accompany photos. Not comprehensive
(an impossible task), designed to enhance
reader’s curiosity about commonly overlooked
“smaller majority.” Raises important
questions about threats to and extinction
rates of these animals. Ends with essay
about macro photography useful for
wildlife photographers. High production
values, six color printing. Highly recommended
for all. S.O’M.
Radio Tracking and Animal Populations.
Joshua J. Millspaugh and John M.
Marzluff (Eds.). 2001. Academic Press,
Boston, MA. 474 pp. $77.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0-12-497781-2. A classic reference
for field biologists that synthesizes information
on experimental design, analytical
techniques, and statistical issues for using
radio transmitters for the remote monitoring
of animal populations and movements.
Chapters focus on experimental
design, equipment and technology, animal
movement (space use, fidelity, movement
paths), resource selection, and demographics
(population estimation, survival
analysis). Includes an appendix that describes
software available for analysis of
radio tracking data and equipment vendors
and distributors. This book is an
important reference for any biologist’s
Wild Solutions. 2nd Ed. Andrew Beattie
and Paul Ehrlich, 2004. Yale University
Press, New Haven, CT. 261pp. $16,
softcover. ISBN 0300105061. The authors
set out to explain “How Biodiversity
is Money in the Bank,” delineating natural
systems that modern humans would do
well to adopt and discussing ways Earth’s
biodiversity could be more effectively
managed to meet human needs. Grounded
in the question: Where might the solution
to a given human problem have evolved in
the wild? The authors’ ultimate goal is to
demonstrate humanity’s biological roots
and dependencies and to provide a new
perspective from which to examine these
connections. Laden with examples of
biodiversity, long on detail. Outlines several
ecosystems that help sustain humans
and introduces concepts like the “natural
internet.” Includes further reading and index,
no citations. Many black and white
illustrations. Utterly fascinating, very
readable, recommended. S.O’M.
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big
History David Christian. 2004. University
of California Press, Berkley, CA. 642
pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 0520244761.
Sweeping in scope. Human history placed
in the context of the history of the universe,
a story the author, an historian, refers
to as a modern creation myth termed
“Big History.” Emphasis on the repeating
patterns and order of development and
physical, biological, social evolution.
Dense but readable, with timelines
throughout to help orient the reader. Presented
as an historical overview without
188 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No. 1
interpretation. Two appendices, extensive
notes, with a bibliography which includes
recommended reading, general reference,
and works cited. Ambitious but useful for
readers interested in the “big picture.”
The Ecozones of the World: The Ecological
Divisions of the Geosphere. 2nd
Edition. Jürgen Schultz. 2002. Springer-
Verlag, Berlin. 252 pp. $99, hardcover.
ISBN 103540200142. This is a well organized
and concise description of the nine
major terrestrial regions of the earth. Each
region is described in terms of its distribution,
climate, soil, relief and drainage,
land use, and vegetation and animals. This
allows for an easy comparison of salient
factors between regions and also allows
the reader to readily focus on a particular
aspect of interest, such as soil or vegetation
types of various regions, etc. Primarily
directed at students of geography, this
volume should also prove useful to biologists,
ecologists, and even travelers who
may be interested in the special characteristics
of a specific region. This is a useful
and practical guide and an excellent introduction
to biogeography. S.E.
Conservation Finance Handbook: How
Communities are Paying for Parks and
Land Conservation. Kim Hopper and
Ernest Cook. 2004. The Trust For Public
Land, San Francisco, CA. 211 pp. $21.95,
softcover. ISBN 0967280648. The public
has shown that it is willing to pay for land
conservation, and this book shows how
activists can turn willingness into reality.
It details the nuts and bolts of identifying
funding sources, assessing public opinion,
presenting a proposal for public approval,
and running a conservation campaign.
Written and published under the auspices
of the Trust For Public Land, a national
nonprofit land conservation organization
with a successful track record of raising
several billion dollars for land conservation,
this is an essential resource for land
trusts and community activists. S.E.
In Pursuit of Plants: Experiences of
Nineteenth & Early Twentieth Century
Plant Collectors. Philip Short. 2003.
Timber Press, Portland, OR. 351 pp.
$29.95, hardcover. ISBN 0881926353.
Short presents the writings of 36 of the
world’s prominent plant collectors of the
mid 19th century to the early 20th century.
Excerpts from their journals and letters
describe the adventures and hardships
collectors faced traveling to Africa, Asia,
Australia and New Zealand, Europe,
North America, Central and South
America, and at sea. A brief biographical
sketch precedes each first-person account.
Illustrated with period botanical plates
and modern photographs, this book will
be enjoyed by anyone interested in the
study of natural history, travel, and the
age of discovery. Appendices include an
explanation of plant names, herbaria, and
the development of the Wardian case.
Footnotes and a brief index conclude the
Archaea: Ancient Microbes, Extreme
Environments, and the Origin of Life.
Paul Blum (Ed.). 2001. Academic Press,
New York, NY. 382 pp. $125.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0120026503. A series of
essays about the recently recognized
group of organisms sharing characteristics
of bacteria and eukaryotes called
archaea. Having diverged from the evolutionary
path of many of the earth’s more
common organisms, this group of organisms
inhabits many of the earth’s most
extreme environments such as hot springs,
thermal vents, and oxygen deficient sediments.
Contributing authors cover topics
in paleobiology, molecular phylogeny,
and an extensive section on using archaea
as models for eukaryotic processes. Illustrated
with numerous tables and figures.
References are provided for each chapter
and a subject index concludes the volume.
Suitable for advanced students and researchers
in microbiology, molecular biology,
genetics, bacteriology and cell biology.
2006 Book Reviews 189
Peregrine Falcon: Stories of the Blue
Meanie. Jim Enderson. 2005. University
of Texas Press, Austin, TX. 254 pp.
$22.95, softcover. ISBN 029270590. Jim
Enderson has spent a lifetime studying,
training, and breeding peregrine falcons,
and was one of the leading experts who
helped identify DDT as the cause of their
near extinction. This is his highly enjoyable
and readable account of the near demise
and recovery of the peregrine falcon.
Full of anecdotes and personal observations,
it tells of the dedication, ingenuity,
and perseverance of the many people who
helped bring the “blue meanie” back from
the brink. The reader learns about the
biology and natural history of the bird,
about the success of artificial breeding in
captivity, and about the bird’s role in the
ancient practice of falconry. A well written,
accessible, and ultimately uplifting
tale of survival. S.E.
Animal Tracks and Signs of North
America. Richard P. Smith. 1982.
Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.
271pp. $16.95, softcover. ISBN
0811721248 Useful generalist’s guide to
tracks of large animals of North America.
Not comprehensive with respect to small
mammals or birds. Animal descriptions
organized primarily by habitat rather than
family. Black and white photos of all animals,
tracks, and signs covered. Text includes
some information on range, brief
natural history, description of scat, signs,
and tracks, and author’s personal anecdotes.
No maps, diagrams, or scientific
names. Short but interesting chapters on
animal sounds, bird tracks and sounds,
techniques of tracking, dating and making
plaster casts of tracks. Includes self assessment
quiz. A still useful and readable
Secret Lives of Common Birds: Enjoying
Bird Behavior Through the Seasons.
Marie Read. 2005. Houghton
Mifflin Co., Boston, MA. 95 pp. $14.95,
softcover. ISBN 0618558721 A charming
book of wildlife photography and natural
history. Organized by season, it focuses
on the birds most commonly enjoyed by
birders. Each chapter features a different
aspect of bird behavior, highlighting several
species and matching the text with
photographs of the behavior. Lovingly
written, yet the particular strength of the
book is the photographs. Well suited as a
supplemental introductory text for those
just learning about birds. Experienced
birders will appreciate the photos and pick
up a few new facts as well. S.O’M.
The Speciation and Biogeography of
Birds. Ian Newton. 2003. Academic
Press, Boston, MA. 668 pp. $75, hardcover.
ISBN 012517375X. Covering the
taxonomy, formation, and geographic distribution
of bird species, this text is written
for advanced students but is also suitable
for serious bird watchers. Topics addressed
include bird evolution and diversity,
major distribution patterns, effects of
past climate change, limitation of species
distributions, and bird movements. The
author integrates the latest information
from the fields making up biogeography
and incorporates advances in molecular
biology that influence our understanding
of speciation. Several chapters address
each topic. Provides a combined subject
and species index, glossary, and extensive
reference sections. C.R.
Flora of North America. Volume 5:
Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, Part
2. 2005. Flora of North America Editorial
Committee (Eds.). Oxford University
Press, Inc., New York, NY. 656 pp. $120,
hardcover. This contribution to the Flora
of North America includes Caryophyllales,
part 2 (pink order),
Polygonales (buckwheat order) and
Plumbaginales (leadwort order). Covers
74 genera and 740 species, 60 percent of
which are endemic to the region of North
America north of Mexico. Keys for family,
genus, and species are provided. Each
species is accompanied by a distribution
190 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No. 1
map, a general description including synonyms,
and specific descriptions of stems,
leaves, inflorescences, involucres, flowers,
and achenes. At least one line drawing
is provided of a representative species for
each genera. An extensive literature cited
section is included, as well as a combined
common and scientific name index. C.R.
Forest Canopies. 2nd Edition. Margaret
D. Lowman and H. Bruce Rinker (Eds.).
Elsevier Academic Press, Boston, MA.
517 pp. $79.95, hardcover. ISBN
0124575536. This edition is completely
updated with information from the past
ten years, after the first edition was published.
Written by more than 50 experts, it
examines canopy organisms, processes,
structure and function, and conservation.
Each chapter is extensively referenced
and accompanied by numerous figures
and tables. Chapters on structure include
quantifying and visualizing structure, vertical
organization, development of structure,
and history of tree canopies. Among
the fascinating organisms examined are
the mites and even smaller tardigrades.
Lichens and bryophytes, vascular epiphytes,
and mistletoes are some of the
sessile organisms discussed. As for processes,
photosynthesis, insect herbivory,
nutrient cycling, reproduction and genetics
and decomposition are all explored.
The conservation section includes chapters
on economics and ecotourism. This
text is suitable for scientists, students,
policy makers, conservationists, and educators.
Book Reviewers: S.E. = Stephen Eddy,
G.M. = Glen Mittelhauser, S.O'M. =
Sarah O'Malley, C.R. = Cathy Rees
• The North American Benthological Society (NABS) 54th Annual Conference .
4–9 June 2006. Anchorage, AL . Details at: www.benthos.org
• 14th International Conference on Environmental Bioindicators and Annual
Meeting of the International Society of Environmental Bioindicators and The
International Union of Biological Scientists (IUBS) Commission on
Bioindicators. April 24-26, 2006. The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute.
Linthicum, MD. Details at: www.tfilearning.com.
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