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Ecology Bibliography

Note: book cover sizes in the list below are shown relative to each other. The list is organized by primary author. Some out-of-copyright books are available free at the supplied links.

The Book of Forest and Thicket: Trees, Shrubs, and Wildflowers of Eastern North America

Author(s): Eastman, John; illustrated by Hansen, Amelia

Publisher: Stackpole Books, 1992

ISBN: 978-0811730464

View at: Amazon.com

Comments: I love these books! (See also The Book of Swamp and Bog and The Book of Field and Roadside.) Learning to identify a plant is one matter, a pleasant challenge to be sure, but one that leaves us with only the most superficial of introductions. What if you could be fully immersed in the world of the plant? Eastman's books describe a relatively small number of common species in rich but not overly technical detail. I feel like a tiny bee might, as I see the insects that frequent the plant, the fungal blights it must tolerate, the birds who favor its fruits, its friends and associates. Amelia Hansen's detailed line drawings focus sometimes on the plant itself, but often on some aspect of the plant's environment. These books aren't really field guides, but they are much more. 212 pages.

Eastern North America

The Book of Swamp and Bog: Trees, Shrubs, and Wildflowers of Eastern Freshwater Wetlands

Author(s): Eastman, John; illustrated by Hansen, Amelia

Publisher: Stackpole Books, 1995

ISBN: 978-0811725187

View at: Amazon.com

Comments: Describes "trees, shrubs, and wildflowers of eastern freshwater wetlands." This book, and others in the series, is not a guide in the traditional sense. It describes a relatively small number of common species in their full ecological context, providing deeper insight into the world that surrounds each plant. The author lists birds and other associated animals; insects that feed on (or in some cases are digested by) the plants; pollinators and gall-producing insects; and fungal threats. Descriptions are rich with detail, but not overly technical. 237 pages.

Eastern North America

The Book of Field and Roadside: Open-Country Weeds, Trees, and Wildflowers of Eastern North America

Author(s): Eastman, John; illustrated by Hansen, Amelia

Publisher: Stackpole Books, 2003

ISBN: 978-0811726252

View at: Amazon.com

Comments: I love these books! (See also The Book of Swamp and Bog and The Book of Forest and Thicket.) Learning to identify a plant is one matter, a pleasant challenge to be sure, but one that leaves us with only the most superficial of introductions. What if you could be fully immersed in the world of the plant? Eastman’s books describe a relatively small number of common species in rich but not overly technical detail. I feel like a tiny bee might, as I see the insects that frequent the plant, the fungal blights it must tolerate, the birds who favor its fruits, its friends and associates. Amelia Hansen's detailed line drawings focus sometimes on the plant itself, but often on some aspect of the plant's environment. These books aren't really field guides, but they are much more. 336 pages.

Eastern North America.

Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

Author(s): Edited by Chivian, Eric and Bernstein, Aaron

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008

ISBN: 978-0195175097

View at: Amazon.com

Comments: This beautiful volume is not a field guide. It is the result of a large scale international effort, initiated in 1992, to coordinate "what was known about how other species contribute to human health." The project was directed by Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist Eric Chivian, and consolidates information from over 100 contributors. It demonstrates in myriad ways that biodiversity is essential to human existence. 542 pages.

The Forest Unseen

Author(s): Haskell, David George

Publisher: Penguin Books, 2013

ISBN: 978-0143122944

View at: Amazon.com

Comments: An amazing book! What would happen if you drew a circle about a meter in diameter at an arbitrary spot in the woods, then visited the same spot nearly every day for a year? Plenty, at least if you train yourself to play close attention to more of what is going on. David Haskell writes with a deep understanding of ecology; familiarity with a wide range of plant, animal, fungal, and microscopic life; and the soul of a poet. The book is organized as a series of short, rich essays prompted by different visits. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand the forest’s intriciate web of living relationships on a deeper level. The book is easy to read, not laden with dense terminology. Oh, and you'll find out what a mandala is.

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

Author(s): Kimmerer, Robin Wall

Publisher: Oregon State University Press, 2003

ISBN: 978-0870714993

View at: Amazon.com

Comments: This isn't a guide book, but it provides a very interesting introduction to mosses, and from a unique perspective. From the cover: "...Drawing on her diverse experience 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."