Principles of Ecology

Salem. Mar. 2019. 400p. ed. by ed. by Jennifer Heath. photos. index. ISBN 9781642650440. $206.25. SCI
This encyclopedia of key terms and issues related to the field of ecology also aims to convince readers of the need to be better stewards of the environment on both a personal and a societal level. In the introduction, editor Heath argues that individuals must consider their actions within a long time frame and seek to interact equitably with the various biocommunities they encounter. Fittingly, the main entries tend toward a more activist bent than one might expect from a reference work. The writing is uneven, and though many entries are informative, many are too brief or incomplete. Space constraints are obvious in a printed encyclopedia, but in some instances the contributors make inadequate use of their allotted space. Moreover, the printing is of poor quality, and the images and figures are rendered in low-resolution grayscale rather than full color. Some of the figures lack captions or in-text mentions and are situated on the page without context. The list of contributors provides no affiliations or personal information about the authors or editor. Finally, it seems that several useful sections were removed, as Heath mentions in her introduction the following components that are actually absent: biographies of key figures, a time line of American environmentalism, a glossary, and a bibliography.
VERDICT This volume may prove of some interest to the general public or high school students but is an otherwise middling effort of substandard value to most library collections.
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