Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, third edition, is a seven-volume set that provides a coherent, synthetic and comprehensive overview of the field, bringing together contributions from over 400 expert academics and practitioners. The book brings together the dimensions of biodiversity and examines the services it provides and measures to protect it. Major themes include the evolution of biodiversity, systems for classifying and defining biodiversity, ecological patterns and theories of biodiversity, and an assessment of contemporary patterns and trends in biodiversity. The entire work is reviewed and updated, including new chapters on topics which have come to the forefront since the publication of the previous edition.
The science of biodiversity has become the science of our future. It is an interdisciplinary field spanning areas of both physical and life sciences. Our awareness of the loss of biodiversity has brought a long overdue appreciation of the magnitude of this loss and a determination to develop the tools to protect our future. One important feature of the new edition will be updated information on the growing biodiversity crisis.
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Samuel. M Scheiner is a theoretical biologist with work in various areas of evolution, ecology, and general biology. In evolution, he works on modelling phenotypic plasticity and the use of structural equation modelling for measuring trait relationships and natural selection. In ecology, he works on macroecological patterns of diversity, species richness relationships, and diversity metrics. In general biology, he is developing a set of general theories encompassing all of biology. He currently serves as a Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Previously he was an Associate Professor at Arizona State University West, an Assistant and Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University, and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Arizona. He received his BA, MS and PhD from the University of Chicago and is an AAAS Fellow.
Reviews of previous editions:
"Compiled by a virtual who's who in the field of conservation science, the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity highlights the critical importance of biodiversity and illustrates why all thinking people should care about stemming the loss of our natural heritage."
– John Sawhill, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy
"This encyclopedia is a worthwhile investment for anyone in need of a scholarly reference source devoted to biodiversity and related preservation issues. There are no other current encyclopedias that provide comparable in-depth coverage of this increasingly important topic. The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity is particularly recommended for special and academic libraries. For a limited period, access to an upcoming online version is included in the purchase of the print set."
– American Library Association
"Five volumes contain 313 signed articles by leading international authors. From the preface: "The entries [...] have been arranged alphabetically, but the coverage is designed functionally. At the core is a comprehensive survey of biodiversity, across taxonomic groups and ecological regions. The emergence of biodiversity is then placed in an evolutionary perspective, as background for an understanding of current trends. Finally, a review is given of institutions and other mechanisms that exist and are needed for the preservation of biodiversity [...] " The "contents by subject" listing groups entries according to theme, among them: agriculture, conservation and restoration, economics, environmental conditions and effects, evolution, extinctions, genetics, geographic and global issues, habitats and ecosystems, human effects and interventions, and population issues. Each entry is carefully constructed, with an outline, a glossary, a summary, cross references, and a bibliography accompanying the main body of text. Purchase of the print version confers access to the complementary web site."
– Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
"With an authoritative, wide-ranging and engaging approach to biodiversity an sustainability, the Encyclopedia does and excellent job of synthesising material of many different kinds so as to advance our understanding of ecological systems."
– Murray Gell-mann, The Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, USA
"My participation in the development of this Encyclopedia has been a very encouraging experience, particularly in providing an opportunity to see how broadly interest in biodiversity has spread. The Encyclopedia has deliberately been organised [sic] in a most inclusive way, and this will help people of all backgrounds learn more about their world and the other living things they share it with."
– Sir Robert May, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government
"A scholarly resource for understanding this exceptional and living planet we call home [...] so solid and authoritative no library should be without."
– Thomas E. Lovejoy, Chief Biodiversity Advisor, The World Bank
"The viability of any twenty-first century politics will hinge on its effective grasp of the principles of biodiversity. The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, a clarification of key concepts in five volumes, will prove to be a terrific source for scholars, activists, and decision makers."
– Barry Lopez, Author of Arctic Dreams
"[...] There are no other current encyclopedias that provide comparable in-depth coverage of this increasingly important topic [...]"
"[...] This unique set provides an excellent overview of many aspects of this important concept [...] Impressive in content and organization [...]"