Monarchs and Milkweed

A Migrating Butterfly, a Poisonous Plant, and Their Remarkable Story of Coevolution

Author: Anurag Agrawal

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884764

Category: Science

Page: 296

View: 6337

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Monarch butterflies are one of nature's most recognizable creatures, known for their bright colors and epic annual migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico. Yet there is much more to the monarch than its distinctive presence and mythic journeying. In Monarchs and Milkweed, Anurag Agrawal presents a vivid investigation into how the monarch butterfly has evolved closely alongside the milkweed—a toxic plant named for the sticky white substance emitted when its leaves are damaged—and how this inextricable and intimate relationship has been like an arms race over the millennia, a battle of exploitation and defense between two fascinating species. The monarch life cycle begins each spring when it deposits eggs on milkweed leaves. But this dependency of monarchs on milkweeds as food is not reciprocated, and milkweeds do all they can to poison or thwart the young monarchs. Agrawal delves into major scientific discoveries, including his own pioneering research, and traces how plant poisons have not only shaped monarch-milkweed interactions but have also been culturally important for centuries. Agrawal presents current ideas regarding the recent decline in monarch populations, including habitat destruction, increased winter storms, and lack of milkweed—the last one a theory that the author rejects. He evaluates the current sustainability of monarchs and reveals a novel explanation for their plummeting numbers. Lavishly illustrated with more than eighty color photos and images, Monarchs and Milkweed takes readers on an unforgettable exploration of one of nature's most important and sophisticated evolutionary relationships.
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Summer Wildflowers of the Northeast

A Natural History

Author: Carol Gracie

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691199345

Category: Gardening

Page: 384

View: 6302

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"This is a follow-up volume to Gracie's Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast. This new book treats 35 species of summer blooming wildflower some common, others less so concentrating on each species life history and, in the same manner as the earlier book, providing intriguing insights into the biology, ecology, folklore, and, where relevant, ethno-botany of each flower. Each species account is richly illustrated with a range of color photos"--
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The Last Butterflies

A Scientist's Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing Creature

Author: Nick Haddad

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691189625

Category: Nature

Page: 250

View: 7721

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A remarkable look at the rarest butterflies, how global changes threaten their existence, and how we can bring them back from near-extinction Most of us have heard of such popular butterflies as the Monarch or Painted Lady. But what about the Fender’s Blue? Or the St. Francis’ Satyr? Because of their extreme rarity, these butterflies are not well-known, yet they are remarkable species with important lessons to teach us. The Last Butterflies spotlights the rarest of these creatures—some numbering no more than what can be held in one hand. Drawing from his own first-hand experiences, Nick Haddad explores the challenges of tracking these vanishing butterflies, why they are disappearing, and why they are worth saving. He also provides startling insights into the effects of human activity and environmental change on the planet’s biodiversity. Weaving a vivid and personal narrative with ideas from ecology and conservation, Haddad illustrates the race against time to reverse the decline of six butterfly species. Many scientists mistakenly assume we fully understand butterflies’ natural histories. Yet, as with the Large Blue in England, we too often know too little and the conservation consequences are dire. Haddad argues that a hands-off approach is not effective and that in many instances, like for the Fender’s Blue and Bay Checkerspot, active and aggressive management is necessary. With deliberate conservation, rare butterflies can coexist with people, inhabit urban fringes, and, in the case of the St. Francis’ Satyr, even reside on bomb ranges and military land. Haddad shows that through the efforts to protect and restore butterflies, we might learn how to successfully confront conservation issues for all animals and plants. A moving account of extinction, recovery, and hope, The Last Butterflies demonstrates the great value of these beautiful insects to science, conservation, and people.
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Issues in Biological, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Sciences Research: 2011 Edition

Author: N.A

Publisher: ScholarlyEditions

ISBN: 1464963703

Category: Science

Page: 2846

View: 2104

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Issues in Biological, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Sciences Research: 2011 Edition is a ScholarlyEditions™ eBook that delivers timely, authoritative, and comprehensive information about Biological, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Sciences Research. The editors have built Issues in Biological, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Sciences Research: 2011 Edition on the vast information databases of ScholarlyNews.™ You can expect the information about Biological, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Sciences Research in this eBook to be deeper than what you can access anywhere else, as well as consistently reliable, authoritative, informed, and relevant. The content of Issues in Biological, Biochemical, and Evolutionary Sciences Research: 2011 Edition has been produced by the world’s leading scientists, engineers, analysts, research institutions, and companies. All of the content is from peer-reviewed sources, and all of it is written, assembled, and edited by the editors at ScholarlyEditions™ and available exclusively from us. You now have a source you can cite with authority, confidence, and credibility. More information is available at http://www.ScholarlyEditions.com/.
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