Green Equilibrium: The vital balance of humans and nature

Hardcover | March 8, 2013

byCHRISTOPHER WILLS

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In Green Equilibrium, Christopher Wills explains the rules by which ecosystems maintain a diversity of interdependent species, in particular the balance of predators and prey. Wills is both an eminent academic and a hugely experienced field-biologist. In presenting the concept of "greenequilibrium", he draws on a fascinating range of examples, including coral reefs off the densely populated Philippines, the isolated and densely forested valleys of Papua New Guinea, the changing Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and a Californian ranch being allowed to return to a wild state. In eachcase he assesses the impact of modern changes and attempts at conservation on these delicately balanced ecosystems. Wills shows how human populations, too, are an integral part of the picture. We now know from genetic evidence that over the course of history, as humans spread out of Africa, populations adapted as a result of environmental conditions. Striking new evidence indicates that some human populationscarry genes from past encounters with other hominids (Neanderthals and Denisovans), as well as genetic adaptations to local hazards such as malaria. Wills argues that the most effective approaches to conserving green equilibria come out of evolutionary insights, and from close involvement of thelocal communities who have lived and adapted to them.

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In Green Equilibrium, Christopher Wills explains the rules by which ecosystems maintain a diversity of interdependent species, in particular the balance of predators and prey. Wills is both an eminent academic and a hugely experienced field-biologist. In presenting the concept of "greenequilibrium", he draws on a fascinating range of e...

Christopher Wills is Professor of Biological Sciences and member of the Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of California. He received the Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999. His research interests include the maintenance of genetic v...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pagesPublished:March 8, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645701

ISBN - 13:9780199645701

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. How Ecosystems Work2. Maintaining a Green Equilibrium3. Stewardship and its Perils4. The Challenge of Restoration Ecology5. Catastrophes of the Past: How Three Different Ecosystems Have Responded to Existential Threats6. A Blending of Genetic Equilibria: The Origins of Our Species7. Ex Africa Semper Aliquid Novi8. Introgression and Equilibria in Our Gene Pools9. The Intertwined Histories of Humans and Their Ecosystems10. Learning From Our History11. The Origin of Our Pretty Good Brains12. Genes, Cultures, and Green EquilibriaL'EnvoiNotesBibliography