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Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species von [Thompson, Ken]
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Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species Kindle Edition

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Thompson makes his case in a lively, readable style, spiced with a healthy dose of sarcasm towards "aliens = bad" fundamentalists. Better yet, he bolsters his argument with plenty of citations from the scientific literature, which adds welcome heft. -- Bob Holmes New Scientist Lively and punchy...You walk away from this book feeling flushed and a bit bruised. -- James McConnachie Sunday Times Ken Thompson...challenges us to look at the issue dispassionately and logically...a well put together book about the science and the philosophy surrounding invasive species. -- Simon Barnes Times An important and thought provoking book that deserves widespread exposure. At risk of hyperbole, I'd say it is to ecology what Darwin's Origin of Species was to evolution. -- Brian Clegg


Where do camels belong? In the Arab world may seem the obvious answer, but they are relative newcomers there. They evolved in North America, retain their greatest diversity in South America, and the only remaining wild dromedaries are in Australia.

This is a classic example of the contradictions of 'native' and 'invasive' species, a hot issue right now, as the flip-side of biodiversity. We have all heard the horror stories of invasives, from Japanese knotweed that puts fear into the heart of gardeners to brown tree snakes that have taken over the island of Guam.

But do we need to fear invaders? And indeed, can we control them, and do we choose the right targets?

Ken Thompson puts forward a fascinating array of narratives to explore what he sees as the crucial question - why only a minority of introduced species succeed, and why so few of them go on to cause trouble. He discusses, too, whether our fears could be getting in the way of conserving biodiversity, and responding to the threat of climate change.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 10010 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 273 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1781251754
  • Verlag: Profile Books (20. März 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #405.434 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen 4 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen How sound is the basis for ecology as a science? 21. April 2014
Von DJ Arboretum - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
In this short book the author raises some key issues that have long bothered me about the fundamental soundness of ecology as guide to decision making. The problem being the inability except in limited island based cases for ecology to really be experimentally based. The author does not explore this as such but gives many examples where seemingly scientific statements about the impact of invasive species have in fact been based on hearsay, limited information and unsound assumptions. By approaching the idea of native species from a Darwinian, long term perspective the author points to our illogical adherence to a rapidly changing recent past. However even though I agree with him from a scientific perspective, he did not convince me that efforts to stave off change are always futile or misguided. Sometimes we want to protect a habitat or save species because it speaks to us a human level rather than through logic or economics.

The examples used do support the author premise well but I feel he was a bit selective in his choice. By avoiding discussion of the effective examples of biocontrol he gives the impression that control of invasive species is almost always too expensive and doomed to failure - not always the case.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Where does any animal belong? 31. Januar 2015
Von lyndonbrecht - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
The title relates to the fossil record that says camels originated in the Americas. So, would reestablishing camels be an invasive species or one just coming back home? It's an interesting point of view; "invasive species" seems to have a time frame. What was invasive a thousand years ago is likely seen as native now. There's also an element of stasis in the view that an existing ecosystem has a set, precise composition of species. Nature is hardly static and evolution is constant. I had thought along these lines before, but reading this book helped crystalize my views.

About those camels: they are now essentially extinct in their areas of origin, but a lively feral population exists in Australia, where camels form part of the history of those other aliens, non-Aboriginal humans. There's also Jefferson Davis bringing camels to the American west before the Civil War, thinking they might be better than horses for the US Army.

He also makes the point that invasive species are usually seen as having a negative impact (along the lines of the fire ant and kudzu), but this is not always true. He discusses the zebra mussel, an invader of the USA that clogs intake pipes and outcompetes native species of mussels. Bad, right? But the explosive mussel population filters impurities out of the water, improving water quality, and serves as a banquet for native diving ducks and some native fish. In a way he argues that we should look at the overall context of an individual invasive species before declaring it subject to eradication.

Claims of damage, he says, are rarely backed up by scientific data. A more measured response is needed and is more realistic. Some invasive species may be quite positive, and anyway ecosystems are dynamic. In the long run, he implies, many native species have been invaders. He calls for viewing alien species as simply a phenomenon, one that is neither good nor bad.

This is a good read. Readers who like natural sciences, ecology and related issues really should read the book. It may bore people who have less interest in nature. It is not really nature writing, but the writing is good and sustains interest--at least it sustained mine. It is a bit tedious in spots.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting 22. April 2014
Von Warren Lewis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is a very informative, entertaining read, especially for one who is interested in nature, ecology and the interaction between native and non-native species.

Thompson drives home the valid point that ecosystems are dynamic and never fixed. Species have always shifted their range and distribution across the globe in response to environmental change, and today is no different. Thompson also demonstrates how our view of what is native, or not, and thereby "good" or "bad", is often based more on cultural and media bias than actual scientific evidence, and he gives plenty of examples of this.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who has any kind of interest in ecology, science, nature and/or environmental issues! This book definitely contributes much to the talk, and indeed debate, surrounding species considered native or non-native. Whatever conclusions one may reach after reading this book, I believe that one's knowledge will have been added to, even enriched.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Review Of Invase Species. 8. Mai 2014
Von James L. Erbes - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Have often wondered about different plants and animal species that are present in my environment. This book addresses most of my esquires.
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