New PDF release: A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife

By Professor Norman Maclean, Chris Packham

ISBN-10: 1107673232

ISBN-13: 9781107673236

Disentangling the evidence from the hype, this 'Domesday ebook' of the British and Irish nation-state bargains a definitive and up to date survey of the kingdom of our flora and fauna this present day. Norman Maclean, editor of the bestselling Silent summer season, examines the newest findings of england and Ireland's most sensible flora and fauna specialists and translates them for a much wider viewers. every one bankruptcy offers trustworthy estimates of animal populations, displaying which species are thriving and that are in decline. The publication additionally considers the results of weather switch on our natural world and the way human inhabitants progress is influencing its improvement. fantastically illustrated with color plates and wooden engravings all through, this available and well timed learn finds simply how speedily our geographical region and its natural world are altering, why we should always be anxious, and what we will be able to do approximately it.

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Additional resources for A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife

Sample text

Thus neighbouring rock pools often harbour numerous clonal forms of the same sea anemone. But sexual reproduction does not produce clones of identical progeny: instead it yields progeny in which the genes (and alleles of the genes) of the parents are individually assorted. Almost all animals and plants are diploid, meaning that all cells carry two copies of each chromosome, when egg and sperm cells are produced only one copy of each chromosome pair is passed to each egg and sperm cell. When the male’s sperm and female’s egg fuse following mating, the chromosomes again pair up, one copy of each being inherited from the father or the mother.

It is therefore likely that forest species such as red squirrel, pine marten, crossbill and honey buzzard gradually found life less easy and much more confined, and the plants and insects that thrived in forest understorey would also have declined. But it would not have been all bad news for wildlife. As pastoral agriculture advanced, so spilt seed from grain crops would have become available, as would the winter bonanza of stack yards and root vegetable stores. Thus species that were probably once rare would have thrived on the new easy food pickings.

To address it briefly, the short answer is no. The difficulty is one of the time needed to change. We can see that small changes in behaviour are possible within a few years, such as the new pattern of goldfinches feeding on niger seed provided at garden feeding stations, but substantial changes requiring genetic modification take far longer, often thousands or even millions of years. 15 A more generally representative example comes from birds referred to earlier in the context of avian malaria, the honeycreepers on the islands of Hawaii.

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A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife by Professor Norman Maclean, Chris Packham


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