Brian R. Chapman,Eric G. Bolen
North America contains an incredibly diverse array of naturalenvironments, each supporting unique systems of plant and animallife. These systems, the largest of which are biomes, formintricate webs of life that have taken millennia to evolve. Thisrichly illustrated book introduces readers to this extraordinaryarray of natural communities and their subtle biological andgeological interactions. Completely revised and updated throughout, the second edition ofthis successful text takes a qualitative, intuitive approach to thesubject, beginning with an overview of essential ecological termsand concepts, such as competitive exclusion, taxa, niches, andsuccession. It then goes on to describe the major biomes andcommunities that characterize the rich biota of the continent,starting with the Tundra and continuing with Boreal Forest,Deciduous Forest, Grasslands, Deserts, Montane Forests, andTemperature Rain Forest, among others. Coastal environments,including the Laguna Madre, seagrasses, Chesapeake Bay, and barrierislands appear in a new chapter. Additionally, the book covers manyunique features such as pitcher plant bogs, muskeg, the polar icecap, the cloud forests of Mexico, and the LaBrea tar pits.“Infoboxes” have been added; these include biographiesof historical figures who provided significant contributions to thedevelopment of ecology, unique circumstances such as frogs andinsects that survive freezing, and conservation issues such asthose concerning puffins and island foxes. Throughout the text,ecological concepts are worked into the text; these includebiogeography, competitive exclusion, succession, soil formation,and the mechanics of natural selection. Ecology of North America 2e is an ideal first text forstudents interested in natural resources, environmental science,and biology, and it is a useful and attractive addition to thelibrary of anyone interested in understanding and protecting thenatural environment.