Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse of ecosystems. Charles Sheppard tells the fascinating story of how and where coral reefs are formed and the diversity of marine life they support. He also highlights the threats they face due to exploitation and the conservation efforts in place to tackle these issues.
In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.
The importance of the oceans to life on Earth cannot be overstated. Liquid water covers more than 70% of our planet's surface and, in past geological time, has spread over 85%. Life on Earth began in the oceans over 3.5 billion years ago and remained there for the great majority of that time. Today the seas still provide 99% of habitable living space, the largest repository of biomass, and holds the greatest number of undiscovered species on the planet. Our oceans are vital for the regulation of climate, and with global warming and decreasing land area, they have become increasingly important as the source of food, energy in the form of oil and gas, and for their mineral wealth. Oceans also form a key part of the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements critical to life. Nutrients in upwelling areas are spread by ocean currents, and the plankton of the seas supports a wealth of wildlife. In this Very Short Introduction Dorrik Stow analyses these most important components of our blue planet and considers their relationship with, and exploitation by, humans. He shows how the oceans are an essential resource to our overpopulated world, and discusses why exploration and greater scientific understanding of the oceans, their chemistry, and their mineral wealth are now a high priority. Stow also explores what we know of how oceans originate, and evolve and change; the shape of the seafloor and nature of its cover; the physical processes that stir the waters and mix such a rich chemical broth; and the inseparable link between oceans and climate. As polar ice melts and sea-levels rise, countless millions who have made their homes on low-lying lands close to the sea are threatened. As scientific exploration of the seas gathers pace, the new knowledge gained of the ocean-Earth systems and their interaction with the human environment is vital to our understanding of how we can preserve these ultimately fragile environments. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Rocks, more than anything else, underpin our lives. They make up the solid structure of the Earth and of other rocky planets, and are present at the cores of gas giant planets. We live on the rocky surface of the planet, grow our food on weathered debris derived from rocks, and we obtain nearly all of the raw materials with which we found our civilization from rocks. From the Earth's crust to building bricks, rocks contain our sense of planetary history, and are a guide to our future. In this Very Short Introduction Jan Zalsiewicz looks at the nature and variety of rocks, and the processes by which they are formed. Starting from the origin of rocks and their key role in the formation of the Earth, he considers what we know about the deep rocks of the mantle and core, and what rocks can tell us about the evolution of the Earth, and looks at those found in outer space and on other planets. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Examining what landscape is, and how we use a range of ideas and techniques to study it, Andrew Goudie and Heather Viles demonstrate how geomorphologists have built on classic methods pioneered by some great 19th century scientists to examine our Earth.
Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Management : Proceedings of an Associated Event of the Fifth Annual World Bank Conference on Environmentally and Socially Susutainable Development
Author: Marea Eleni Hatziolos
Publisher: World Bank Publications
"The decline of coral ... if it continues ... will mark the end of one of the great beauties of creation and the end of a great hope that of discovering life forms hitherto unknown on the Earth ... Let us not forget that we are responsible to posterity for the preservation of the beauties of the sea as well as for those on land. We must learn how to make use of the biological and mineral resources of the oceans ... But we must also learn how to preserve the integrity and the equilibrium of that world which is so inextricably bound to our own." - Jacques Yves Cousteau, Excerpt from Life and Death in a Coral Sea, 1971 This book reports on the World Bank's 5th Annual Conference on Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, which focused on some of the most urgent threats facing coral reefs today, including the growing use of cyanide fishing along some of the richest reefs of the world, unsustainable trade in reef products, and constraints to effective establishment and management of marine protected areas. The proceedings stressed the need for strengthening the policy environment while adopting economic incentives and improved resource valuation techniques, informing management decisions through targeted research and monitoring, and rallying public support through environmental education and the media.
INTRODUCTION TO MARINE BIOLOGY distinguishes itself from other texts at this introductory level by taking an ecological approach to the study of marine biology, by providing succinct coverage of key topics, and through the use of the best illustrations and photos currently available. In this edition two co-authors have joined George KarleskintJames Small from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and Richard Turner from the Florida Institute of Technology. Their experience in coastal environments nicely compliments Karleskint's clear, concise student-friendly writing style. Users will also discover that the level of the text has been broadened with additional coverage of plant, microbial, planktonic, and animal biology. In support of this emphasis, new "In Perspective" summary tables have been added to each of the marine organism chapters to provide a summary of important ecological and biological aspects of various marine organisms. Even with this broadened emphasis, this edition of INTRODUCTION TO MARINE BIOLOGY remains exceptionally readable. The textual material has been broken into small paragraph sections with more headings for ease of navigation, and "In Summary" statements have been added to the end of each main heading within the chapter, making it easy for students to check their understanding before reaching the end of the chapter. Furthermore, the authors have added more words to the glossary, many new illustrations, and over one hundred new photos. This second edition also boasts an increased "ecological focus" through the addition of discussions on "ecological roles and relationships."