JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

More recommended reading ...

Just finished the public library copy of Out of Eden : an odyssey of ecological invasion, by Alan Burdick, c2005. The first two thirds of the book are about Guam (brown tree snake) and Hawaii (assorted species) ... both fairly mainstream topics in the study of invasive species and well-covered in other books. The candy is the final third ... the study of marine biological invasion. A new subscience in the field, which is turning regular marine biology (itself a relatively new science) upside-down with the notion that many species, especially on North America's Atlantic coast, that are thought of as "native" have a strong possibility of being been carried over centuries ago on the hulls of wooden sailing ships, Norse longboats, Basque fishing vessels, etc. (around 300 Pacific marine species have now been identified as having come from elsewhere with the help of humans; many of the more recent via ballast water within modern metal hulls).

A fascinating overview of how ecology/invasions/introductions are not the simplistic things usually presented to us ... well-explained and thorough. Also includes interviews with the founders of this new science, who are still working in the field, including the chap who pioneered the investigation and study of ballast water; he published his first scientific paper at age fourteen in the sixties, and recently co-authored a journal article with an eleven-year girl who conducted her own study on flatworm predation and turned up some new-to-science findings ... hurrah for the encouragement of younglings who WANT to learn!
Tags: reading

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