Books (Botany & Zoology)

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    Blender interstitial volume : a novel virtual measurement of structural complexity applicable to marine benthic habitats
    (Elsevier, 2019) Sadchatheeswara, Saachi; Moloney, Coleen L.; Branch, George M.; Robinson, Tamara B.
    Blender interstitial volume is a novel method that utilizes 3D modeling techniques to accurately and efficiently quantify the volume of interstitial gaps in marine benthic habitats, as well as the space provided by substrate rugosity. This method builds upon the analog methods routinely used on rocky shores and intertidal habitats, including those that measure rugosity, topography, fractals and volume. The method provides a direct Euclidean measurement and uniquely allows retrospective analysis if historical data on species composition are available. Blender interstitial volume allows users to quickly build and measure a large number of samples at no extra cost. The program for Blender is free and opensource, and requires no extra equipment Once 3D models of species are made, the entire method takes less than ten minutes to complete Blender interstitial volume is as accurate as Fractal analysis in determining structural complexity on rocky shores, but is more consistent and precise, and better at discerning differences
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    The Prince Edward Islands : land-sea interactions in a changing ecosystem
    (SUN PReSS, 2008) Chown, Steven L.; Froneman, Pierre William
    Islands are typically studied because of their unusual terrestrial plant and animals life, because they form the breeding grounds for immense colonies of pelagic predators, and because they provide remarkable, open-air laboratories for understanding the structure and functioning of natural systems. The sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands are no exception. However, a great deal of attention has also been given to the way in which marine and terrestrial systems interact and influence each other’s dynamics, making the islands unusual. Indeed, Marion and Prince Edward Islands and their surrounding marine systems are amongst the most thoroughly investigated on the globe, and certainly hold the title for Southern Ocean. This book provides a modern, synthetic overview of what is known about the structure, functioning and interactions of marine and terrestrial systems at the Prince Edward Islands. Building on more than 50 years of biological, geological, meteorological, and oceanographic research, it demonstrates not only how inextricably linked marine and terrestrial systems at the islands are, but also how global environmental challenges, such as climate change, biological invasions, and over exploitation, are playing out at the regional and local levels in the Southern Ocean. The book also provides a rare insight into the history of the human presence on the islands, including the ways in which South Africa’s socio-political history has influenced practices at a remote sub-Antarctic research station, which has been occupied since the islands’ annexation in 1947/48.
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    Frontiers of vegetation science : an evolutionary angle
    (International Association for Vegetation Science, 2008) Mucina, L.; Kalwij, J. M.; Smith, V. R.; Chytry, M.; White, P. S.; Cilliers, S. S.; Pillar, V. D.; Zobel, M.; Sun, I-F.
    The main focus of the symposium is to seek links between vegetation science and evolutionary biology and the formation of platforms in cooperation between these major scientific fields. The title of our meeting – “Frontiers of Vegetation Science—An Evolutionary Angle”– alludes symbolically to the challenges that vegetation science as a discipline is currently facing. Technologically driven progress in evolutionary research is changing the face of many traditional biological sciences. Vegetation science, should (and to some extent already does) react to this new phase of evolutionary research by reaching out to ecological disciplines traditionally closer to evolutionary biology (population biology, palaeo-ecology) and implementing tools of evolutionary research in explaining structure and dynamics of vegetation. The field of interaction and cooperation is enormous and is ripe for exploration and discovery. The major aim of our meeting is to extend the interface and to deepen the cooperation between the evolutionary research and vegetation science.