Terrestrial Biosphere
Environmental Change, Ecosystem
Science, Attitudes & Values

By Steve Trudgill
Nov 2000
Pearson Education / Longman
ISBN: 0582303478
320 pages
$59.50 Paper original

Terrestrial Biosphere tries to pose the questions which underlie the many-sided debate of how to respond to and influence change: How should we view nature? What do we do for the best - how should we act - what are we trying to achieve and what should we be guided by?

In doing so the book introduces and attempts to analyze not only scientific aspects of the debate but also cultural attitudes and values: the notions of ecosystem stability are now challenged and it is also clear that ecosystems are renewable but not repeatable. It finds that prescriptive 'solutions' based on current constructs may not be adequate.

Feeling that analysis should lead to advocacy, the author believes that if we can't improve predictability, we have to increase adaptability which means that ecological and social capacity building should be advocated. This is seen in terms of concepts, institutions, attitudes and values which allow for a plurality of meanings and which can cope with surprise and unforeseen change - and which also facilitates responses to change.

1. Introduction
2. Ecology for People
3. Are There Any Guiding Principles from Ecological Science?
4. The Conceptual Basis
5. Ecosystems, Society and Environmental Change
6. Concepts of Soil
7. Soils and Environmental Change
8. Wilderness Ecosystems
9. Managed Ecosystems
10. Domesticated Ecosystems
11. Built Ecosystems
12. Conclusions

• Covers both scientific and sociological aspects of ecosystem management.
• Covers the underlying motivation and psychology for our interpretations and actions.
• Ecosystem processes; soil development and vegetation responses to climate will be explained in depth.
• Includes discussion of the response of soils and vegetation to human impact.
• Each chapter will end with a list of discussion topics and an annotated further reading section.

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