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Beyond the Sea

The Hidden Life in Lakes, Streams, and Wetlands

David Strayer

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An exciting foray into Earth's inland waters, the remarkable species they contain, and the conservation challenges of protecting them.

We call Earth "the blue planet" because oceans cover 71 percent of its surface. But this description ignores the diverse inland waters—streams, lakes, wetlands, and ground waters—that are so important to global biodiversity. These crucial ecosystems are home to about ten percent of all known species, many of which are extraordinary, and some of which are critically endangered.

In Beyond the Sea, David Strayer introduces readers to the world's most remarkable and...

An exciting foray into Earth's inland waters, the remarkable species they contain, and the conservation challenges of protecting them.

We call Earth "the blue planet" because oceans cover 71 percent of its surface. But this description ignores the diverse inland waters—streams, lakes, wetlands, and ground waters—that are so important to global biodiversity. These crucial ecosystems are home to about ten percent of all known species, many of which are extraordinary, and some of which are critically endangered.

In Beyond the Sea, David Strayer introduces readers to the world's most remarkable and varied inland waters, including volcanic lakes more corrosive than battery acid, catastrophic floods that carried ten times as much water as the Amazon River, ground waters miles beneath our feet that are home to unique microbes, and vast lakes that fill only once a century. These varied ecosystems support a wide array of remarkable and unique species, such as tiny animals that can become "reversibly dead," mussels that seduce fish, and lungfishes that have evolved to meet the myriad challenges posed by inland-water habitats.

Because humans have used—and abused—inland waters so intensively for everything from drinking water to sewage disposal, many species around the world that depend on them are already extinct or in desperate peril. Strayer explains the damage caused by human activities and outlines the solutions that are needed to sustain and restore inland-water ecosystems and their inhabitants. Proving that the sea isn't the only watery realm of mystery and wonder, this book illuminates the secrets, science, and amazing denizens of the overlooked waters in our backyards.

Reviews

Reviews

The ocean of water 'Beyond the Sea' exists as multitudes: innumerable rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds, together forming one of the planet's most vital elements. Heraclitus wrote that a man can't step into the same river twice. Strayer explains that dynamism in the clearest prose, taking us on a tour of the world's inland waters: how they are formed, their chemical and physical processes, and their remarkable organismic diversity.

Strayer reveals the staggering scale and subtly fascinating worlds of lakes, streams, and wetlands. Not since Luna Leopold's classic A View of the River has a scientist decoded the intricacies and wonder of freshwater systems in such an approachable way.

Strayer provides an impressively comprehensive description of the diverse physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of inland waterbodies, the numerous threats to these systems, and approaches to reduce these threats. Beyond the Sea is written in an engaging style, fact-filled with fascinating examples, and thought-provoking.

Wade into the vibrant world of inland waters, where lakes shimmer with life, streams show their resilience, and wetlands teem with biodiversity. Beyond the Sea helped remind me of the delicate balance of freshwater ecosystems and their importance in safeguarding our planet's biodiversity and water resources.

About

Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
232
ISBN
9781421450070
Illustration Description
42 b&w photos, 7 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1. Theme and Variations: The Rest of the Blue Planet
Chapter 2. Inland Waters: Types, Sizes, and Shapes
Chapter 3. Origins: How Inland Waters Are Made
Chapter 4. Age: Lifespans of Inland

Preface
Chapter 1. Theme and Variations: The Rest of the Blue Planet
Chapter 2. Inland Waters: Types, Sizes, and Shapes
Chapter 3. Origins: How Inland Waters Are Made
Chapter 4. Age: Lifespans of Inland Waters
Chapter 5. Disruption: Stability and Disturbance in Inland Waters
Chapter 6. Materials: The Chemical Diversity of Inland Waters
Chapter 7. Isolation: All Inland Waters Are Islands
Chapter 8. Life: Inland-Water Biodiversity
Chapter 9. Challenges 1: How Do You Keep from Getting Washed to the Sea?
Chapter 10. Challenges 2: What Do You Do When the Water Dries Up?
Chapter 11. Challenges 3: How Do You Find Some Lunch?
Chapter 12. Challenges 4: And Then There's Sex
Chapter 13. Peril: Human Impacts on Inland Waters and Their Biodiversity
Chapter 14. Solutions: Protecting and Restoring Inland-Water Ecosystems
Chapter 15. Back to the Theme: Closing Remarks
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

David Strayer

David Strayer (ANN ARBOR, MI) is a freshwater ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He is a coeditor of Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science and the author of The Hudson Primer: Ecology of an Iconic River.