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A Dictionary of Ecology (Oxford Paperback Reference) [Paperback]

Michael Allaby
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 July 2010 Oxford Paperback Reference
This is the fourth edition of the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of ecology available. Written in a clear, accessible style, it contains over 6,000 entries on all aspects of ecology and related environmental scientific disciplines such as biogeography, genetics, soil science, geomorphology, atmospheric science, and oceanography. Coverage is wide-ranging and includes plant and animal physiology, animal behaviour, pollution, conservation, habitat management, population, evolution, environmental pollution, climatology and meteorology. It also includes many line drawings and useful appendices including estimations of population parameters, the geologic time-scale, SI units, and - new to this edition - a web linked appendix of relevant organizations including both governmental agencies and conservation societies. Fully revised, updated, and expanded, with over 100 new entries, this new edition also contains new web links for dozens of entries - which are accessed and kept up to date via the Dictionary of Ecology companion website. The dictionary will be invaluable to students of ecology, biology, conservation studies, environmental sciences, and professionals in related areas, as well as the general reader with an interest in the natural world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 4 edition (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780199567669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199567669
  • ASIN: 0199567662
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was about six I lived with my Grandma in Ashbourne, a market town in Derbyshire. That was where and when I made up my mind what I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer or an actor. Preferably both, because then I'd be able to write stories and declaim them. (And get paid twice, but I didn't know about that.) When I was wee, this involved standing on a chair and shouting a lot. I wrote my very first book at that time, in indelible pencil, and Grandma stitched the pages together for me. I stole all of it, naturally.
So I've been very lucky, because in my time I've been both. But for more than forty years now I've spent all my time, and earned my living, by writing, co-authoring, compiling, and editing books, almost all of them about science. It's fun, because basically what I'm doing is finding answers to questions, solving puzzles, figuring out how things work, and then telling stories about it. My boast is that if I can get to understand something I'll be able to explain it so you can understand it, too.
I also edit dictionaries. At present I'm in charge of five, all published by Oxford University Press, on plant sciences, earth sciences and geology, ecology, zoology, and environment and conservation. I collect words and phrases and whenever it's time for a new edition I insert all the new ones and revise and update the old ones. Dictionaries never end. It's all changing now, though, because all my dictionaries are online, at OUP's amazing new website. You must try it out.
The writer's life is not for everyone. I collaborate with people, but I seldom meet them. Quite a number of my books were published in New York, by people I've never met, and illustrated by a friend who lives in France, and I never get to see him, either. I sit in front of my friendly iMac, tip-tapping away or staring blankly at a blank screen.
But I have a great view. My wife and I live in the West Highlands of Scotland, overlooking a narrow stretch of sea toward one of the islands, with the mountains of another island in the distance. It's mind-numbingly beautiful, especially when a full moon shines across the water. Everything comes at a price, of course. Sometimes the midges are so fierce you have to wear a hood just to take rubbish to the dustbin or hang laundry on the line.
I'm still going strong. I have something like one hundred books to my name, but there'll be a few more yet, before I hang up my keyboard. Amazon has a list of all those that are still available and you can find a list of the whole lot at my own website (www.michaelallaby.com). Try one or two. You might enjoy them. Happy days!

Product Description

Review

"Comprehensive coverage of ecology and the environmental sciences." -- BBC Wildlife --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Allaby is the general editor of the Oxford dictionaries of Ecology, Zoology, and Plant Sciences, and author of A Dictionary of Earth Sciences.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecology. 15 Jan 2014
By Sharon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found it a good idea to have the first edition and the latest, because of the changes in thinking and dropping of words and ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great 22 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arrived on time and it is in amazing condition.... exactly what I wanted and needed, worth the money as it has everything in.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It could be useful... 23 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This dictionary was recommended for my 1st year Undergrad Ecology course.
Not as in-depth as I would have liked, especially since it's supposed to be a specific topic instead of an edited down Biology dictionary. And it came with a massive mis-print.
However, I'm sure it will come in useful at some point, just not sure when that will be...
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3 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Allaby is also a co-editor of the 2nd edition of A DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES, as well as General Editor of THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF NATURAL HISTORY. Where terms in this book's 2nd edition appear in the 2nd edition of A DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES (which came out a year later), the latter is to be preferred.
EARTH SCIENCES provides additional cross-references for various technical terms (e.g. classes of minerals) that the ECOLOGY dictionary doesn't contain. (ECOLOGY rarely seems to contain cross-references that EARTH SCIENCES does not.) Where the definitions are not identical (which is the most common occurrence when the terms appear in both books), the differences lie in the clarification of examples, the provision of additional details, rearrangement of the order of the information for greater clarity, and (where the word is used differently for non-ecological disciplines) the provision of additional alternate meanings.
In other words, Allaby incorporated the work done on this book into the DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES, and he and his co-editor on that book continued cleaning up and improving any terms used in common by the two books, taking care not to introduce silly inconsistencies.
When found in both sources, only one word out of a quasi-random selection of forty didn't match *any* of the senses listed in the DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES. However, out of 75 quasi-random terms in the DICTIONARY OF ECOLOGY, 35 weren't in the DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES, so unfortunately the DICTIONARY OF ECOLOGY can't be treated as a simple subset of the larger work.
Not surprisingly, the terms found in the ECOLOGY dictionary that aren't in the EARTH SCIENCES dictionary tend to be the more 'biological' terms, e.g. "saltatory" ('leaping movement, as of crickets or grasshoppers).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not comprehensive enough 29 Dec 2012
By Rosalie Tebbets - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am reviewing the 2010 edition. I found it to be lacking in specific terms that I was concerned with; for example, "regime," as it applies to vegetative landscapes, which is the definition I was looking for when I decided to buy the dictionary. I work with environmental documents on a routine basis, and I am finding that glossaries specific to the documents (if they have one) are often better at defining concepts than a dictionary such as this. The dictionary might be great for a university student. And perhaps the later version is more comprehensive.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very handy. 21 Dec 2012
By MCWarwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Use this book almost daily during the school year.

Keep in mind it is an OXFORD book so the definitions and language are in the BRITISH-ENGLISH form, not AMERICAN-ENGLISH (when it comes to ecology/biology/the sciences, the differences can be significant)
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Companion Book 5 Dec 2010
By nBee1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If there are some terms you can't quite recall, or a term you want to know and you are constantly exposed to several aspects of the field, it's a helpful companion book.
5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the 1998 2nd edition: comparison to EARTH SCIENCES 6 Nov 2004
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Allaby is also a co-editor of the 2nd edition of A DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES, as well as General Editor of THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF NATURAL HISTORY. Where terms in this book's 2nd edition appear in the 2nd edition of A DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES (which came out a year later), the latter is to be preferred.

EARTH SCIENCES provides additional cross-references for various technical terms (e.g. classes of minerals) that the ECOLOGY dictionary doesn't contain. (ECOLOGY rarely seems to contain cross-references that EARTH SCIENCES does not.) Where the definitions are not identical (which is the most common occurrence when the terms appear in both books), the differences lie in the clarification of examples, the provision of additional details, rearrangement of the order of the information for greater clarity, and (where the word is used differently for non-ecological disciplines) the provision of additional alternate meanings.

In other words, Allaby incorporated the work done on this book into the DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES, and he and his co-editor on that book continued cleaning up and improving any terms used in common by the two books, taking care not to introduce silly inconsistencies.

When found in both sources, only one word out of a quasi-random selection of forty didn't match *any* of the senses listed in the DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES. However, out of 75 quasi-random terms in the DICTIONARY OF ECOLOGY, 35 weren't in the DICTIONARY OF EARTH SCIENCES, so unfortunately the DICTIONARY OF ECOLOGY can't be treated as a simple subset of the larger work.

Not surprisingly, the terms found in the ECOLOGY dictionary that aren't in the EARTH SCIENCES dictionary tend to be the more 'biological' terms, e.g. "saltatory" ('leaping movement, as of crickets or grasshoppers).
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