The Environment: Science, Issues, and Solutions, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Environment

Science, Issues, and Solutions, 1st Edition

By Mohan K. Wali, Fatih Evrendilek, M. Siobhan Fennessy

CRC Press

648 pages | 320 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2009-07-30
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Students have questions, this book has answers:

  • What is the structure and function of natural systems?
  • Where and how do populations and communities live?
  • How have human impacts altered ecosystems?
  • How can we lessen impacts and create long term solutions?

Challenging Times Demand Changing Approaches

As the world strives to go green and clean, the discipline of environmental science is poised to take center stage. Its components span many disciplines, subdisciplines, and specialties. Reflecting this, introductory courses are often taught by instructors trained in fields ranging from biology, chemistry, and physics to philosophy and political science. The next generation of environmental scientists, professionals, and decision makers need an understanding of environmental issues that is not only cohesive, but firmly based in science. They need environmental literacy.

Why Another Text on Environmental Science?

Exploiting the fertile ground provided by young and open minds, The Environment: Science, Issues, and Solutions employs a back-to-basics, building-block presentation. The authors’ approach is strongly grounded in science, the scientific method, and environmental evidence. They introduce the principles of ecology, then discuss how the increase in human population, expanded technology use, and unprecedented economic development and growth has altered ecosystems resulting in serious local, regional, and global environmental problems. The book makes a case for seeking long-term solutions for the prevention and mitigation of environmental problems in their interconnected, interrelated, and, thus, interdependent ways.

Fully Integrated Text Rigorously Explores Environmental Issues

The authors’ engaging style piques the interest of students, challenges their critical abilities, and fosters environmental literacy based on a fundamental understanding of the systems of the natural world. The authors emphasize the basics of ecology and use this foundation to build an understanding of major environmental problems and explore methods of mitigating what has been degraded or destroyed. In a logical progression, they provide an understanding of the science, a delineation of the human population and technological growth that has led to environmental issues, and an exploration of solutions to those problems.


"… good guide to comprehend processes, problems and solutions related to the environment. Every chapter is accompanied by figures, illustrations, maps and exercises to provide a better understanding of this important topic."

—D. A. Pinilla, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain

Table of Contents

Ecosystem Structure and Function

The Environment and the Nature of Scientific Enquiry

Meaning and Significance of Environment

The Pale Blue Dot

Stories in the News

Advent of Global Environmental Awakening

Focus on Environmental Problems Sharpens

Advances in Environmental Research and Regulation

The Scientific Method

Types of Scientific Studies

The Two Cultures and the Environment

The Urge to Live, Live Well, and Live Better

Biosphere and the Science of Ecology

The Biosphere

The Lithosphere

The Hydrosphere

The Science of Ecology

The Ecosystem Concept

Atmosphere, Climate, and Organisms


Climate and Weather

Global Climate and General Circulation

Solar Radiation and Light

Heat and Air Temperature

Precipitation, Humidity, and Wind

Influence of Topography

Climate, Weather, and Humans

The Soil Environment

Soil Defined

Origin of Soils

Soil Physical Characteristics

Soil Chemical Relations

Soil Biota

The Aquatic Environment

Characteristics of Water

Hydrological Cycle

Streams and Rivers

Freshwater Lakes

Saline Lakes


Oceans, Seas, and Estuaries

Biogeochemical Cycling of Materials

Biogeochemical Cycles

Drivers of Biogeochemical Cycles

Hydrological or Water Cycle

Gaseous Cycles

Mineral or Sedimentary Cycles

Interactions of Biogeochemical Cycles

Energy Flows and Ecosystem Productivity

Solar Energy—the Driving Variable

Laws of Thermodynamics

Terrestrial Primary Productivity

Photosynthetic Pathways

Ecological Controls on Primary Productivity

Aquatic Primary Productivity

Secondary Productivity

Bioaccumulation through Food Webs

Population Ecology

Populations—the Central Units in Ecology and Evolution

Population Growth

Regulation of Population Size

Spatial Patterns of Population Abundance

Life Histories of Organisms

Interspecific Interactions and Population Dynamics

Community Ecology and Succession

Ecological Communities

Community Structure

Ecological Succession

Changes in Succession

Controls on Succession

Mechanisms of Succession

Rangeland Succession

Concept of Climax, Old-Growth, or Mature Communities

Biomes—the Major Ecosystems of the World



Tundra and Alpine


Temperate Deciduous Forest


Temperate Coniferous Forest

Dry-Mesic Forest

Temperate Rain Forest


Tropical Rain Forest

Tropical Savannas



Contemporary Environmental Issues

Human Population Growth


Forces Driving Human Population Growth

Rapid Growth in Numbers Means Greater Consumption

Biophysical Controls over Population Growth

Increasing Consumption and Decreasing Natural Resources

Uneven Access to Natural Capital Threatens Global Security

Environmental Refugees

Overall Assessment of Increasing Human Numbers

Land Use—Agriculture

Agriculture in Retrospect

Traditional and Industrialized Agriculture

Food Bounty of the United States

Energy Input into Agriculture

The Green Revolution

Land Use Conflicts

Growing Monocultures

Sustaining Energy Subsidies

Biocides: Use, Persistence, and Health Effects

Disruption of Biogeochemical Cycles

Soil Erosion


Animal Agriculture

Challenges of Food Security

Land Use—Forest Resources

Forest Ecosystems in Perspective

Global and National Extent of Forests

Types and Functions of Forests

Forest Products


Deforestation and Its Underlying Causes

Impacts on Hydrological Cycle

Impacts on Gaseous and Sedimentary Cycles

Habitat Fragmentation and Loss of Biodiversity

Forest Death: Mortality, Insects, and Pathogens

Forest Fires

Challenges for Forest Management

Land Use—Mining for Mineral and Coal Resources


Types of Minerals

Mineral Exploration

Extraction from the Ground

Mineral Processing

Consumption Patterns and Environmental Impacts

Waste Production and Disposal—Eastern United States and Canada

Waste Production and Disposal—Western United States and Canada

Industrial Ecology

Legislative Measures

Land Use—Urbanization and Transportation

Forces Driving Urbanization

Trends of Urbanization

Growing Global Urban Population

Land Use

Urban Transportation and Impacts

Urban–Industrial Wastes and Biogeochemical Cycles

Urban Climate and Air Pollutants

Urban Vegetation

Water Resources—Quantity and Quality

The Essential Nature of Water

Use and Depletion of Surface and Ground Water

Impounding Water

Competition for Water

Water Quality—Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems

Oil Spills in Marine Systems

Decline of Fisheries

Legislation on Water Issues

Fuel Energy

Energy as Fuel

Energy from Biomass

Energy from Nonrenewable Resources

Fossil Fuel Energy—Retrospect and Prospect

Energy from Renewable Resources

Current Global and National Energy Profile

Energy Policy

Air Quality and Stratospheric Ozone


Sources of Air Pollutants

Types of Air Pollutants

Air Pollutant Transformations

Modes of Air Pollutant Action

Criteria Air Pollutants

Nature of Atmospheric Deposition

Factors Affecting Atmospheric Deposition

Acidification of Water and Soils

Acidification of Lakes and Streams

Acidification of Forests

Acidification Impacts on Agriculture

Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health

Atmospheric Deposition Impacts on Monuments

The Ozone "Hole" and the Montreal Protocol

The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change


Greenhouse Gases and the Greenhouse Effect

Geological History and Temperature

Carbon Dioxide and Temperature

Evidence of Carbon Dioxide Increase

Sources and Sinks of Carbon

Other Greenhouse Gases

Evidence of Global Warming

General Circulation Models

Climate–Weather Uncertainties

Response of Biota to Climate Change

Climate Change and Human Health

Recent National and International Responses

Biological Diversity Loss and the March of Invasive Species

Biological Diversity

Values of Safeguarding Biological Diversity

Biological Invasions

Major Factors That Facilitate Invasions

Temporal Attributes of Invasive Species

Effects of Invasions on Ecosystem Structure and Function

How Do Species Invade So Successfully?

Invasions as Agents of Environmental Change

Economic Losses from Invasions

Getting Rid of Invasive Species

Policies to Lessen Biodiversity Loss

Seeking Solutions

Environmental Policy and Law


Policy-Making and Science

Process of Making Policy

Environmental Policy

Environmental Policy and Ecology

Environment and Energy: an Example

Public versus Private Rights

Environmental Policy and Law: the United States as an Example

Legislative Goals versus Implementation Actions

International Issues, Laws, and Treaties

Environmental Policy Instruments

Environmental Justice

The Precautionary Principle

Miles Gained, Miles Remaining

Economic Systems, Growth, and Development

Economics and Its Beginning

Economic Practice and Its Major Principles


The Externalities

Global Poverty and Economic Sector Subsidies

Environmental and Resource Economics

Economics and Ecology

Steady-State Economics

Ecological Economics

Growth and Development

Market Economics: GDP and GNP

Genuine Progress Indicator

Human Development Index

The Concept of Ecological Footprint

Environmental Management

Principles of Adaptive Ecosystem Management

Environmental Information Systems

Ecosystem Analyses

Ecosystem Classification Systems

Ecosystem Integrity and Stability

Assessment of Environmental Health and Risks

Management of Damaged versus Intact Ecosystems

Design and Management of Natural Protection Areas

Sustainable Watershed Management

Best Land Management Practices

Restoration of Disturbed Ecosystems

Restoring Degraded Systems

Restoration, Rehabilitation, or…

Initiating the Process of Restoration

The Restoration Protocol

Grassland Restoration on Mined Lands

Forest Restoration on Mined Lands

Restoration of Wetlands

Wetland Conservation Efforts

Brownfields, Bioremediation, and Phytoremediation

Evaluating Success

Global Imperative of Restoration Economy

Conservation of Biological Diversity and Natural Resources

Principles for Conservation

Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services

Extinction Is a Natural Process

The Control of Invasive Species

Conservation Biology

Strategies for Conservation

Conservation of Natural Resources

Case Study: Recycling and Natural Resources

Sustainable Development

Approaches to Achieving Sustainability

The Concept of Sustainable Development

Ecological Controls on Sustainable Development

Revolutionary Thinking in Economics Is Needed

Cases in Point: Food Production and Renewable Energy

The Eco-City Concept: Green Cities


Sustainability Inter Alia

Environmental Awareness Is Here to Stay

The Road Ahead



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General