Though the forests are still green and the lakes full of water, an unending stream of invasions is changing many ecosystems around the world from productive, tightly integrated webs of native species to loose assemblages of stressed native species and aggressive invaders. The earth is becoming what author David Quammen has called a "planet of weeds."
Nature Out of Place brings this devastating but overlooked crisis to the forefront of public consciousness by offering a fascinating exploration of its causes and consequences, along with a thoughtful and practical consideration of what can be done about it. The father and son team of Jason and Roy Van Driesche offer a unique combination of narratives that highlight specific locations and problems along with comprehensive explanations of the underlying scientific and policy issues.
Chapters examine Hawaii, where introduced feral pigs are destroying the islands' native forests; zebra mussel invasion in the rivers of Ohio; the decades-long effort to eradicate an invasive weed on the Great Plains; and a story about the restoration of both ecological and human history in an urban natural area. In-depth background chapters explain topics ranging from how ecosystems become diverse, to the characteristics of effective invaders, to procedures and policies that can help prevent future invasions. The book ends with a number of specific suggestions for ways that individuals can help reduce the impacts of invasive species, and offers resources for further information.
By bringing the problem of invasive species to life for readers at all levels, Nature Out of Place will play an essential role in the vital effort to raise public awareness of this ongoing ecological crisis.