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A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
Winner of the 2005 John Burroughs Medal Award for Natural History Writing
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.
In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.
Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.
The Animal Answer Guide
Q: How do geckos walk across ceilings? A: Millions of hair-like setae on each foot. Q: Where do geckos come from? A: Throughout the world. Usually where it’s warm. Q: How many species of geckos are there? A: Close to 1,500 and counting! Q: What do they eat? A: Insects mostly. Discover the biology, natural history, and diversity of geckos—the acrobatic little lizards made famous by a car insurance ad campaign. Lizard biologist and gecko expert Aaron Bauer answers deceptively simple questions with surprising and little-known facts. Readers can explore color photographs that reveal the natural wonder and beauty of the gecko form and are further informed by images of how geckos live in their natural habitats. Although written for nonexperts, Geckos also provides a carefully selected bibliography and a new list of all known species that will be of interest to herpetologists. Anyone who owns a gecko, has seen them in the wild, or has wondered about them will appreciate this gem of a book.
Drawn from the Genetics, Disability and Deafness Conference at Gallaudet University in 2003, this trenchant volume brings together 13 essays from science, history, and the humanities, history and the present, to show the many ways that disability, deafness, and the new genetics interact and what that interaction means for society. Pulitzer-prize-winning author Louis Menand begins this volume by expressing the position shared by most authors in this wide-ranging forum—the belief in the value of human diversity and skepticism of actions that could eliminate it through modification of the human genome. Nora Groce creates an interpretive framework for discussing the relationship between culture and disability. From the historical perspective, Brian H. Greenwald comments upon the real “toll” taken by A. G. Bell’s insistence upon oralism, and Joseph J. Murray recounts the 19th century debate over whether deaf-deaf marriages should be encouraged. John S. Schuchman’s chilling account of deafness and eugenics in the Nazi era adds wrenching reinforcement to the impetus to include disabled people in genetics debates. Mark Willis illustrates the complexity of genetic alterations through his reaction to his own genetic makeup, in that he is happy to combat his heart disease with genetic tools but refuses to participate in studies about his blindness, which he considers a rich variation in human experience. Anna Middleton describes widely reported examples of couples attempting to use genetic knowledge and technology both to select for and against a gene that causes deafness. Chapters by Orit Dagan, Karen B. Avraham, Kathleen S. Arnos, and Arti Pandya elucidate the promise of current research to clarify the complexity and choices presented by breakthroughs in genetic engineering. In his essay on the epidemiology of inherited deafness, geneticist Walter E. Nance emphasizes the importance of science in offering individuals knowledge from which they can fashion their own decisions. Christopher Krentz reviews past and contemporary fictional accounts of human alteration that raise moral questions about the ever-continuing search for human perfection. Michael Bérubé concludes this extraordinary collection with his forceful argument that disability should be considered democratically in this era of new genetics to ensure the full participation of disabled people themselves in all decisions that might affect them.
Bromus to Paspalum, Second Edition
Since the publication of the first edition of Grasses: Bromus to Paspalum in 1972, twenty-two additional taxa of grasses have been discovered in Illinois that are properly placed in this volume. In addition, numerous nomenclatural changes have occurred for plants previously discovered, and many distributional records have been added. New keys have been prepared for each genus where additional species from Illinois are known. For new species, full-page illustrations are provided. This second edition updates the status of Illinois grasses. The book features 263 figures from the first edition plus 21 new figures for this edition by Paul W. Nelson.
Genera of grasses included in this work are Aegilops, Agropyron, Agrostis, Aira, Alopecurus, Anthoxanthum, Avena, Beckmannia, Briza, Bromus, Calamagrostis, Cinna, Dactylis, Deschampsia, Elyhordeum, Elymus, Elytrigia, Festuca, Hierochloe, Holcus, Hordeum, Koeleria, Lolium, Milium, Paspalum, Pennisetum, Phalaris, Phleum, Poa, Puccinellia, Sclerochloa, Secale, Sphenopholis, Torreyochloa, Triticum, and Vulpia.
Panicum to Danthonia
Since the publication of the first edition of Grasses: Panicum to Danthonia in 1973, twenty additional taxa of grasses have been discovered in Illinois that are properly placed in this volume. In addition, numerous nomenclatural changes have occurred for plants already known from the state, and many distributional records have been added. This second edition updates the status of grasses in Illinois. Paul W. Nelson has provided illustrations for all of the additions.
Because the nature of grass structures is generally so different from that of other flowering plants, a special terminology is applied to them. In his introduction, Robert H. Mohlenbrock cites these terms, with descriptions that make the identification of unknown specimens possible. Mohlenbrock’s division of the grass family into subfamilies and tribes is a major departure from the sequence usually found in most floristic works in North America.
Synonyms that have been applied to species in the northeastern United States are given under each species. A description based primarily on Illinois material covers the more important features of the species. The common names—Paflic Grass, Billion Dollar Grass or Japanese Millett, Thread Love Grass, and Goose Grass—are the ones used locally in the state. The habitat designation and dot maps showing county distribution of each grass are provided only for grasses in Illinois, but the overall range for each species is also given.
Mammalian pheromones, audiomones, visuomones, and snarks—Richard Doty argues that they all belong in the same category: objects of imagination. For more than 50 years, researchers—including many prominent scientists—have identified pheromones as the triggers for a wide range of mammalian behaviors and endocrine responses. In this provocative book, renowned olfaction expert Richard L. Doty rejects this idea and states bluntly that, in contrast to insects, mammals do not have pheromones. Doty systematically debunks the claims and conclusions of studies that purport to reveal the existence of mammalian pheromones. He demonstrates that there is no generally accepted scientific definition of what constitutes a mammalian pheromone and that attempts to divide stimuli and complex behaviors into pheromonal and nonpheromonal categories have primarily failed. Doty's controversial assertion belies a continued fascination with the pheromone concept, numerous claims of its chemical isolation, and what he sees as the wasted expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars by industry and government. The Great Pheromone Myth directly challenges ideas about the role chemicals play in mammalian behavior and reproductive processes. It is a must-have reference for biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and readers interested in animal behavior, ecology, and evolution.
How Plants Keep the Earth Alive
Beginning with an overview of how human civilization has altered the face of the Earth, particularly by the destruction of forests, the book details the startling consequences of these actions. Rice provides compelling reasons for government officials, economic leaders, and the public to support efforts to save threatened and endangered plants.
In this new, complete Guide to Texas Grasses, Robert B. Shaw and the team at the Texas A&M University Institute of Renewable Natural Resources provide an indispensable reference to the world’s most economically important plant family. After discussing the impact of grass on our everyday lives as food, biofuels, land restoration, erosion control, and water become ever more urgent issues worldwide—the book then provides:a description of the structure of the grass plant;details of the classification and distribution of Texas grasses;brief species accounts;distributional maps;color photographs;plus black-and-white drawings of 670 grass species—native, introduced, and ornamental. Scientific keys help identify the grasses to group, genera, and species, and an alphabetized checklist includes information on: origin (native or introduced); longevity (annual or perennial);growth season (cool or warm season); endangered status;and occurrence (by ecological zone). A glossary, literature citations, and a quick index to genera round out the book. Guide to Texas Grasses is a comprehensive treatment of Texas grasses meant to assist students, botanists, ecologists, agronomists, range scientists, naturalists, researchers, extension agents, and others who work with or are interested in these important plants.