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The Forgotten Pollinatorsby Stephen L. Buchmann
Synopses & Reviews
Consider this: Without interaction between animals and flowering plants, the seeds and fruits that make up nearly eighty percent of the human diet would not exist.
In The Forgotten Pollinators, Stephen L. Buchmann, one of the world's leading authorities on bees and pollination, and Gary Paul Nabhan, award-winning writer and renowned crop ecologist, explore the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction-bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats, and countless other animals, some widely recognized and other almost unknown.
Scenes from around the globe-examining island flora and fauna on the Galapagos, counting bees in the Panamanian rain forest, witnessing an ancient honey-hunting ritual in Malaysia-bring to life the hidden relationships between plants and animals, and demonstrate the ways in which human society affects and is affected by those relationships. Buchmann and Nabhan combine vignettes from the field with expository discussions of ecology, botany, and crop science to present a lively and fascinating account of the ecological and cultural context of plant-pollinator relationships.
More than any other natural process, plant-pollinator relationships offer vivid examples of the connections between endangered species and threatened habitats. The authors explain how human-induced changes in pollinator populations-caused by overuse of chemical pesticides, unbridled development, and conversion of natural areas into monocultural cropland-can have a ripple effect on disparate species, ultimately leading to a "cascade of linked extinctions."
". . . a pleasing concoction of natural and cultural history illustrating how pollination works and how easily it can be disrupted. . . . More than the species and the land that holds them, the book suggests, the living world to be cherished includes everything that these creatures, plants, and places do--the much more vital and intangible biodiversity of interactions and relationships".--"The New York Times Book Review". Illustrations.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 225-240) and index.
About the Author
Stephen L. Buchmann is research entomologist at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center and adjunct professor at the University of Arizona. The Forgotten Pollinators is the centerpiece of a nationwide campaign sponsored by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum designed to raise awareness of pollinators and threatened plants dependent on them.
Gary Paul Nabhan is director of science at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and author of eight books, including "The Geography of Childhood" and "The Desert Smells Like Rain".
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