The Biology Of Temporary Waters

Paperback | December 1, 2005

byD. Dudley Williams

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Temporary waters are found throughout the world, and include intermittent streams and ponds, episodic rain puddles, seasonal limestone lakes, the water-retaining structures of plants, such as bromeliads and pitcher plants, and a variety of man-made container habitats. They are probablypopulated by various plant, animal, and microscopic communities ranging from the very simple to the highly complex. Temporary waters therefore represent fascinating and significant arenas in which to study the properties of species, as the latter deal with the rigours of living in highly variableenvironments. Obligate temporary water species display a remarkable array of adaptations to the periodic loss of their primary medium that largely set them apart from the inhabitants of permanent water bodies. Survival of individuals frequently depends upon exceptional physiological tolerance oreffective migrational abilities that are timed to appropriate habitat phases. Quite apart from their inherent biological interest, temporary waters are now in the limelight from a conservation perspective as these habitats come more and more into conflict with human activities. Traditionally, manytemporary waters (be they ponds, pools, streams, or wetlands) have been considered to be 'wasted' areas of land, potentially convertible to agriculture once drained. In reality, they are natural features of the global landscape that represent distinct and unique habitats for many species, some thatare found nowhere else and others that reach their maximum abundance and/or genetic diversity there. Temporary waters are also very important from a human health perspective since they function as breeding places for the vectors of many disease organisms, including those that spread malaria,schistosomiasis, yellow fever, and dengue. Most of these exact a high toll in terms of global human suffering and reduced regional economies. This book collates and synthesises the highly scattered and diverse global literature on pure and applied aspects of these habitats and their biota. Itexamines the ecology of temporary waters in both natural and human environments, and seeks to identify common evolutionary themes. It will be of particular interest to aquatic ecologists, invertebrate and vertebrate biologists, environmental biologists, wetland managers and conservationists, thosecharged with controlling water-associated diseases, entomologists, educators, and natural historians.

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From the Publisher

Temporary waters are found throughout the world, and include intermittent streams and ponds, episodic rain puddles, seasonal limestone lakes, the water-retaining structures of plants, such as bromeliads and pitcher plants, and a variety of man-made container habitats. They are probablypopulated by various plant, animal, and microscopic...

D. Dudley Williams is Professor of Zoology and Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada, and he also holds an Honorary Professorship at the University of Wales, Bangor, UK.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.76 inPublished:December 1, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198528124

ISBN - 13:9780198528128

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction2. The physical environment3. Influential environmental factors4. The biota5. Population dynamics6. Community dynamics7. Other temporary water habitats8. Applied aspects of temporary waters9. Habitats for vectors of disease10. Importance and stewardship of temporary watersReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In this well-produced and carefully illustrated work, Williams consistently outlines the many gaps in our knowledge that will likely provide starting points for many theses richly detailed thoroughly referenced encyclopedic in its scope suitable for practicing biologists, postgraduatestudents, and upper-level undergraduates." - J.S. Richardson, in The Quarterly Review of Biology.