It is becoming clear that the Mediterranean region is one of the "hottest" biodiversity hotspots on the planet. There is also an increasing concern for the conservation, adaptive management, and restoration of the unique natural ecosystems and cultural landscapes that characterize this area. The region's biological and cultural heritage as well as its huge wealth of biodiversity is now at real risk. This brings a further urgency to the task of communicating detailed but readily accessible information on the Mediterranean biota, and an ecological, historical and evolutionary perspective to the changing contexts in which the region's flora and fauna continue to evolve.
There is no other recent textbook devoted solely to Mediterranean evolutionary ecology, and a synthesis of the many recent advances is now overdue. This new work builds on the success and reputation of the first edition, although the text has been updated and expanded to document recent changes to biodiversity, new ecological and evolutionary insights, and the challenges for the future. These changes include the addition of two new chapters devoted to the Mediterranean Sea itself, and especially the coastal areas. Throughout the book, the pressing issues of global change (especially climate warming) are addressed, in conjunction with changing land use, and in terms of their potential impact on biota, communities, ecosystems, and landscapes.
Foreword by Peter Raven
Chapter 1 Setting the Scene
Chapter 2 Determinants of Present-Day Biodiversity
Chapter 3 Present-Day Terrestrial Biodiversity
Chapter 4 Present-Day Marine Biodiversity
Chapter 5 Scales of Observation
Chapter 6 A Patchwork of Habitats
Chapter 7 Populations, Species, and Community Variations
Chapter 8 Life Histories and Terrestrial Ecosystem Functioning
Chapter 9 Life in the Sea
Chapter 10 Humans as Sculptors of Mediterranean Landscapes
Chapter 11 Biodiversity Downs and Ups
Chapter 12 Biodiversity and Global Change
Chapter 13 Challenges for the Future
Jacques BLONDEL is emeritus Director of research at the Center of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CNRS) in Montpellier, France. He is involved in studies on biogeography, community ecology and population biology at various scales of space and time, using birds as study models. He has published extensively on these fields in the last 45 years. He has been deeply involved in conservation biology in France and the EU, including serving as President of the European Ornithologists' Union and the 24th International Congress of Ornithology and as President of the Scientific Commission of the French Institute for Biodiversity. He is also member of the Scientific Committee of the Natural Patrimony and Biodiversity of the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development.
James ARONSON is a researcher at the Center of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CNRS) in Montpellier, France and head of the Restoration Ecology group at the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA. He works on the restoration of degraded ecosystems in many parts of the world. He is editor of the book series "Science and Practice of Ecological Restoration", published by the Society for Ecological Restoration International and Island Press.
Jean-Yves BODIOU is Assistant Professor at the Laboratoire Arago in Banyuls-sur-mer, France. He works on the marine Meiobenthos, particularly the Harpacticoid Copepods. He teaches Marine Biology and Ecology of the Benthos. For 25 years he served as curator of the public aquarium of Banyuls-sur-mer.
Gilles BOEUF is Professor at the University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6 (UPMC), France. He is presently the head of the combined Laboratory UPMC/CNRS "Models in Cellular and Evolutive Biology" at the Oceanological Observatory, located in Banyuls-sur-mer in the French Catalan Pyrenees. He is involved in studies on environmental physiology, comparative endocrinology, ocean living resources and marine biodiversity. He mainly works on fish, as models. He has published extensively on these fields over the last 33 years. He is deeply involved in comparative physiology and biodiversity studies, including serving as President of the Scientific Committee of the National Museum of Natural History and member of the Scientific Committee of the Natural Patrimony and Biodiversity of the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development.
This volume should be sought by professional ecologists, committed students, and well-educated visitors coming to the region. They will get a manageable, well-written, and easily read volume that provides a rigorous overview of the biological riches that can still be found around in the Mediterranean region all the way from sea depths to the highest mountain tops... Outstanding Carlos M. Herrera, Quarterly Biological Review