403 pages, 20 b/w photos, 52 tables, 50 line diagrams
Many suburban gardens are recognised as being rich in wildlife. Published accounts of their natural history, however, are largely antecdotal with little quantitative basis. This is therefore a unique documentation of the wildlife that existed in the author's Leicestershire garden over a fifteen year period between 1972 and 1986. In total, the diversity, abundance and yearly fluctuations of 1757 species of animal and 422 species of plant were recorded. After an introduction to urban wildlife, gardens and the natural history of Leicestershire, the author describes her garden and the techniques employed for trapping, collection and recording of the species. In discussion of the results from this fifteen year study, the author views the suburban garden as an ecological habitat. One of the most important conclusions reached by Dr Owen is that with increasing despoliation of the countryside, gardens will have considerable significance for conservation. This is an essential book for any professional or amateur ecologist interested in the ecological communities that exist within the suburban garden.
1. Introducing gardens: the broad view
2. Geographical, historical and biological background to the Leicester garden
3. The Leicester garden
8. Ichneumonidae and other parasitic wasps
9. Bees and wasps
11. Other insects
12. Other invertebrates
14. The garden habitat
15. England's most important nature reserve
Scientific papers, articles and books based wholly or partly on ecological research in the Leicester garden
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