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1 Burnside - Bldg. 2 Nature Studies- North American Wildlife

After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America


After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America Cover

ISBN13: 9780226668116
ISBN10: 0226668118
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today.

"One of the best scientific books published in the last ten years."—Ottowa Journal

"A valuable new synthesis of facts and ideas about climate, geography, and life during the past 20,000 years. More important, the book conveys an intimate appreciation of the rich variety of nature through time."—S. David Webb,Science

Book News Annotation:

the fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled present- day Antarctica was transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands of (pre-European) present-day Canada and the northernmost US. With 259 drawings and maps. For a general readership.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Table of Contents

Part One: Preliminaries

1. The Physical Setting

The Changing Climate of the Last 20,000 Years

The Dating Method

The Ice Sheets

Ice and Sea

Ice and Fresh Water

Ice and Atmosphere

Ice-free Land: Refugia and Nunataks

2. The Fossil Evidence




Sediment Cores and Pollen Diagrams

Dating: The Radiocarbon Method

Dating by Volcanic Ash Layers

3. Interpreting the Evidence

Some of the Problems

Interpreting Pollen Diagrams

Interpreting Geographical Range Maps: Animals

Interpreting Geographical Range Maps: Plants

4. The Migration of Vegetation

Shifting Zones of Vegetation

The Starting Conditions

Conditions in the Newly Deglaciated Land

The Invasion by Plants

The Renewal of Vegetation

Ecological Inertia


Part Two: The Time of Maximum Ice

5. Eighteen Thousand Years Ago: Life South of the Ice

Large Mammals and Their Environments South of the Ice Sheets

Human Life South of the Ice

Plants South of the Ice Sheets

6. The Coasts

North America as an Extension of Asia

The South Coast of Beringia

The Western Edge of the Ice

The East Coast Plains and Islands

The East Coast Refugia

7. Beringia and the Ice-free Corridor

Beringia and Its Big Game

Human Life in Beringia

The Ice-free Corridor

Refugia Near the Ice-free Corridor

Part Three: The Melting of the Ice

8. The Ice Begins to Melt

South of the Ice: Tundra

South of the Ice: Forest Parkland and Muskeg

Stagnant Ice

Superglacial and Ice-walled Lakes and Their Ecology

9. The Great Proglacial Lakes

Glacial Lakes Missoula and Columbia

Migration from Bergingia

Glacial Lakes Agassiz and McConnell

The Precursors of the Great Lakes and Glacial Lake Ojibway

10. The Rising Sea

The Sundering of Beringia

The Atlantic Shore

The Atlantic Coastlands

The champlain Sea

The Tyrell Sea

Part Four: The Pleistocene/Holocene Transition

11. The End of an Epoch

The End of the Pleistocene

The Changing Forest

The Prairie Grasslands

Transition in the West: The Interior

Transition in the West: The Coast

Beringia at the Turn of the Epoch

12. The Great Wave of Extinctions

Extinction Waves: When, Where, and What

The Prehistoric Overkill Hypothesis

The Arguments against Overkill

Changing Environment Theories

Extinct Birds

Part Five: Our Present Epoch, The Holocene

13. The Great Warmth

Some Northward Shifts of Northern Limits

The Hypsithermal at Sea

The Hypsithermal in the Mountains

Refugia from the Drought

Human Life in the Hypsithermal

14. The Neoglaciation

The Spread of Muskeg

Increased Rain in the Prairies

The Shifting Ranges of Forest Tree Species

The Neoglacial and the Northern Treeline

Refugia Reestablished

Respites in the Neoglaciation

The Little Ice Age


Appendix 1: Names of Species: English and Latin

Appendix 2: Names of Species: Latin and English



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tjohns10, December 9, 2009 (view all comments by tjohns10)
The book I read was After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. The author of the book is E.C. Pielou. This book discusses life in North America since the ice sheets of the Wisconsin glaciation were at their maximum until present time. The ice sheets of the Wisconsin glaciations were at their maximum about 20,000 years ago. After the Ice Age is broken up into five different parts. Part one talks about some background information on ice ages and how evidence found is interpreted. The second part talks about life in North America when the ice sheets were at their maximum. The third part talks about the period during which the ice sheets were melting. The fourth part talks about the controversial switch from the Pleistocene to Holocene epoch. The final part talks about the Holocene epoch, which we are currently in. All the parts show how life was returned back to North America. The book goes into great depth of how plants, animals, and water changed as the ice sheets melted. It shows how plants and animals migrated after the ice sheets melted and where they were before. Also it talks about what happened to the water that was from the ice that melted. Basically it talks about how life was brought back to an area that was mostly covered by ice at one point.
I thought that this book was very interesting. The part that I found to be the most interesting was the part on the Great Wave extinctions. I think it’s interesting how they have so much figured out about the past yet they are unable to figure out what happened to the animals especially since it happened to so many mammals and not just a few. Another part I found interesting was the crust of the earth being depressed by the weight of the ice. I guess I didn’t realize that could happen and that the crust could then rebound. I think that it is amazing how they can take sediment cores from the bottom of a lake and know what kind of landscape there was a long time ago. I also like how when the author mentioned something that had been explained earlier, then he would tell you where to look if you forgot what it was. Another thing I thought was interesting was that a lot of the things discussed are not facts. Some of the things are still being decided/argued about or they simply do not know what happened for other things and are just taking their best guess. An example of that being the Great Wave Extinction and whether or not there were people before the Clovis people. The book was also very detailed which made some things easier to understand.
One thing that was bad about the book was that there were some things that were hard to understand unless you had a good understanding of plants, animals, and some other processes that happened during the time since the ice was at its maximum. Even with being in physical geography some things were difficult to understand. So I would not recommend the book for someone who has no interest in geography or has little knowledge because the book is very detailed and goes into complicated events. The book also talks a lot about different plant and vegetation species which I really did not know anything about so those parts were also difficult to read. Also the book covers a lot of information so it was sometimes hard to remember some of it. Overall though the book was very interesting and was full interesting details of how life came to be in North America after the last ice age.
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Product Details

The Return of Life to Glaciated North America
Pielou, E C
Pielou, E. C.
University Of Chicago Press
Glacial epoch
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
259 line drawings, maps, and diagrams
9 x 6 x 1 in
Age Level:
The Return of Life to Glaciated North America

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Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » North American Wildlife

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