Chance and Change: Ecology for Conservationists

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9780520211551: Chance and Change: Ecology for Conservationists

The result of a lifetime in the field and in the classroom, Chance and Change challenges many of the tenets of establishment ecology. Charging that most of the environmental movement has ignored or rejected the changes in thinking that have infiltrated ecological theory since the mid 70s, William Drury presents a convincing case that disorder is what makes the natural world work, and that clinging to romantic notions of nature's grand design only saps the strength of the conservation movement. Drury's training in botany, geology, and zoology as well as his life-long devotion to work in the field gave him a depth and range of knowledge that few ecologists possess. This book opens our eyes to a new way of looking at the environment and forces us to think more deeply about nature and our role in it.

Chance and Change is intended for the serious amateur naturalist or professional conservationist. Drury argues that chance and change are the rule, that the future is as unpredictable to other organisms as it is to us, and that natural disturbance is too frequent for equilibrium models to be useful. He stresses the centrality of natural selection in explaining the meaning of biology and insists the book and the laboratory must be checked at all times against the real world. Written in an easy, personal style, Drury's narrative comes alive with the landscape—the salt marshes, dunes, seashores, and forests—that he believed served as the best classroom. His novel approach of correlating landscape evolution with ecological principles offers a welcome corrective to discordance between what we observe in nature and what theory tells us we should see.

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Most politically active environmentalists, writes the late biologist William Drury, have at least some knowledge of equilibrium theory, "the characteristic ecology taught in introductory textbooks" through which the so-called balance of nature is explained. Believing that this theory, if oversimplified, can lead to doctrinaire reactions (the view, for example, that human economic development is necessarily harmful to the environment), Drury proposes a more complex understanding of nature that takes into account chance and change, and that recognizes that "natural disturbance is too frequent for equilibrium models to be useful." Discussing notions such as microcosm versus macrocosm, the great chain of being, and succession, Drury offers a vigorous textbook that deepens our understanding of how the world works. --Gregory McNamee

From the Back Cover:

"This is a common-sensical critique of almost all ecological theory. . . . If this were to be carefully read and widely distributed it would be of major importance (if only in arousing the ire of the more pompous conservationist qua shamanist establishment." (Lawrence B. Slobodkin, University of New York at Stony Brook)

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The result of a lifetime in the field and in the classroom, Chance and Change challenges many of the tenets of establishment ecology. Charging that most of the environmental movement has ignored or rejected the changes in thinking that have infiltrated ecological theory since the mid 70s, William Drury presents a convincing case that disorder is what makes the natural world work, and that clinging to romantic notions of nature s grand design only saps the strength of the conservation movement. Drury s training in botany, geology, and zoology as well as his life-long devotion to work in the field gave him a depth and range of knowledge that few ecologists possess. This book opens our eyes to a new way of looking at the environment and forces us to think more deeply about nature and our role in it. Chance and Change is intended for the serious amateur naturalist or professional conservationist. Drury argues that chance and change are the rule, that the future is as unpredictable to other organisms as it is to us, and that natural disturbance is too frequent for equilibrium models to be useful. He stresses the centrality of natural selection in explaining the meaning of biology and insists the book and the laboratory must be checked at all times against the real world. Written in an easy, personal style, Drury s narrative comes alive with the landscape - the salt marshes, dunes, seashores, and forests - that he believed served as the best classroom. His novel approach of correlating landscape evolution with ecological principles offers a welcome corrective to discordance between what we observe in nature and what theory tells us we should see. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780520211551

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The result of a lifetime in the field and in the classroom, Chance and Change challenges many of the tenets of establishment ecology. Charging that most of the environmental movement has ignored or rejected the changes in thinking that have infiltrated ecological theory since the mid 70s, William Drury presents a convincing case that disorder is what makes the natural world work, and that clinging to romantic notions of nature s grand design only saps the strength of the conservation movement. Drury s training in botany, geology, and zoology as well as his life-long devotion to work in the field gave him a depth and range of knowledge that few ecologists possess. This book opens our eyes to a new way of looking at the environment and forces us to think more deeply about nature and our role in it. Chance and Change is intended for the serious amateur naturalist or professional conservationist. Drury argues that chance and change are the rule, that the future is as unpredictable to other organisms as it is to us, and that natural disturbance is too frequent for equilibrium models to be useful. He stresses the centrality of natural selection in explaining the meaning of biology and insists the book and the laboratory must be checked at all times against the real world. Written in an easy, personal style, Drury s narrative comes alive with the landscape - the salt marshes, dunes, seashores, and forests - that he believed served as the best classroom. His novel approach of correlating landscape evolution with ecological principles offers a welcome corrective to discordance between what we observe in nature and what theory tells us we should see. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780520211551

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