Hidden Forest : Biography of an Ecosystem
Hidden deep in the Oregon woods is a majestic, wild, and ancient place known to a generation of scientists as the Andrews Experimental Forest. The Andrews represents one of the most important, yet overlooked, scientific endeavors of our time: the long-term, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary study of a single contained ecosystem. Here, for the first time, researchers from an enormous range of disciplines - botanists, entomologists, wildlife ecologists, soil biologists, and others - have assembled to literally write the biography of an ecosystem - to examine the role of every working element in the life of the forest. "Here," says Jon Luoma, "in the shadows of this woods, in its rivulets and streams, under its soil, and high overhead, they have discovered a hidden forest."
This tour de force of natural-history writing reveals how such a careful, concentrated study can bring about profound changes in our understanding and appreciation of the delicate balances of the natural world. In this case, the wealth of new information is pointing the way to a wholly new approach to forest management. On a larger scale, the book underlines the importance of making such whole-ecosystem studies a top national and international priority, as they may be our best hope for understanding how to protect and nurture a sustainable environment.
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