Seeking nature's limits

Seeking nature's limits - G.P. Baerends |

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G.P. Baerends
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Seeking nature's limits.pdf


Seeking Nature’s LimitsEcologists in the fieldLife in the great outdoors is anything but carefree for many plants and animals. To survive they are forced to make choices that border on the impossible, choices that must be made within the limits nature has set.In Seeking Nature’s Limits internationally recognised ecologists present a cross-section of their recent work following individual organisms in the struggle for existence. Warblers on isolated islets in the Indian Ocean adjust the sex ratio of their offspring to maximise the benefits of nest helpers. Buffalo on the savannahs of East Africa vote to decide where they will feed. Young ospreys devour their siblings to enhance their chances of fledging.Seeking Nature’s Limits focuses on understanding the decisions of individual animals in their natural surroundings. We learn shellfish are in an arms race with their predators: how deeply they burrow into the sediment is a trade-off between their own need for food and the need to escape predation. How oystercatchers spread themselves across the mudflats at low tide is likewise the outcome of a balance between conflicting demands.Seeking Nature’s Limits conveys the excitement of first-hand accounts and the challenge of incorporating novel approaches in long-term fieldwork. It shows how fundamental ecological research clarifies our understanding of the natural world and its applications to conservation.This work is aimed at a broad readership, professional and amateur alike.

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