Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Titles



1) Meisel, Ronald S. et al.. Orchids of Tropical America: An Introduction and Guide. 2014. Cornell University Press. Paperback: 260 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Orchids of Tropical America is an entertaining, informative, and splendidly illustrated introduction to the orchid family for enthusiasts and newcomers seeking to learn about more than 120 widespread orchid genera. Joe E. Meisel, Ronald S. Kaufmann, and Franco Pupulin bring alive the riot of colors, extraordinary shapes, and varied biology and ecology of the principal orchid genera ranging from Mexico and the Caribbean to Bolivia and Brazil. Orchids, likely the most diverse family of plants on earth, reach their peak diversity in the tropical countries of the Western Hemisphere, including, for example, more than 2,500 species in Brazil and 4,000 in Ecuador. The book also highlights reserves in the American tropics where travelers can enjoy orchids in the wild.
     Whether you journey abroad to see these unique plants, raise them in your home, or admire them from afar, this book offers fascinating insights into the diversity and natural history of orchids. Beyond the plant and flower descriptions, Orchids of Tropical America is packed with informative stories about the ecology and history of each genus. Pollination ecology is given in detail, with an emphasis on how floral features distinctive to the genus are linked to interaction with pollinators. This book also features information on medicinal and commercial uses, notes on the discoverers, and relevant historical data.
    The easy-to-use identification system permits quick recognition of the most common orchid groups in Central and South America. Genus descriptions are given in plain language designed for a nonscientific audience but will prove highly useful to advanced botanists as well. Descriptions focus on external morphology, and great care has been taken to ensure the guide is useful in the field without reliance on microscopes or dissections. Equally valuable as a field guide, a desktop reference, or a gift, Orchids of Tropical America will make an excellent addition to any orchid lover's library.
     Visit the website for this book at www.orchidsoftropicalamerica.com. 
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone with a serious interest in the orchids of the region.


2)  Pearce-Higgins, James W. and Rhys E. Green. Birds and Climate Change: Impacts and Conservation Responses. 2014. Cambridge University Press. Paperback: 467 pages. Price: $65.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: From the red grouse to the Ethiopian bush-crow, bird populations around the world can provide us with vital insights into the effects of climate change on species and ecosystems. They are among the best studied and monitored of organisms, yet many are already under threat of extinction as a result of habitat loss, overexploitation and pollution. Providing a single source of information for students, scientists, practitioners and policy-makers, this book begins with a critical review of the existing impacts of climate change on birds, including changes in the timing of migration and breeding and effects on bird populations around the world. The second part considers how conservationists can assess potential future impacts, quantifying how extinction risk is linked to the magnitude of global change and synthesising the evidence in support of likely conservation responses. The final chapters assess the threats posed by efforts to reduce the magnitude of climate change. 
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in the subject.

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