Dynamic Aquaria: Building Living Ecosystems

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9780120437900: Dynamic Aquaria: Building Living Ecosystems

"Dynamic Aquaria" is the outgrowth of years of research aimed at studying how to accurately model and construct living ecosystems in mesocosms, mircrocosms, and aquaria. It presents scientifically sound information for a growing new area of science, synthetic ecology, or the construction of living ecosystems. At the same time, the authors present thoughtful perspectives on how the knowledge gained by creating these smaller ecosystems helps us to understand our wild ecosystems and biosphere as a whole. The book presents new concepts that will provide scientists, professional aquarists, and hobbyists with the opportunity to learn how to more closely approximate natural ecosystems in closed, artificial environments. It covers the interactions of the physical and biochemical environments as they relate to various size model systems and their natural counterparts. The book also introduces a core ecological concept - the food web - into aquarium science and discusses some of the food web and the community structure are compressed into a limited space. Several model ecosystems, ranging in size from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia and Everglades mesocosm located at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC, to salt, brackish, and fresh water ecosystems of smaller aquarium size are discussed. For the scientist, this book presents an array of new approaches, some revolutionary, to the development and operation of experimental ecosystems. For the professional aquarist, this book demonstrates the ever-expanding possibilities for creating functioning ecosystems for educational display. For the hobbyist, it demonstrates the practical potential for building and operating true, "natural" ecosystems, rather than artifical habitats that house a few selected organisms. All the readers will benefit from the authors' discussions of how understanding these ecosystems and our ability to stimulate them increases our knowledge of ecology in general and of our biosphere in total.

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Review:

Praise for the First Edition "Adey and Loveland target their book towards scientists and those interested in aquaria for their own sake. The latter group will find in this book a delightful description of the basic biological and ecological principles which function in their own systems. To their credit, the authors present mainstream ecological research (both aquatic and terrestrial) alongside the practical issues of aquaria construction and maintenance. Rarely have I ever seen real ecology made so accessible to the layperson. Adey and Loveland have succeeded in conveying a myriad of exceedingly complex issues to the uninitiated. This book successfully presents the essential biological, ecological, and physico-chemical aspects of ecological systems in an accessible fashion." --ECOLOGY "Dynamic Aquaria is a beautifully presented and attractive book which is a mine of useful and practical information for anyone wanting to set up aquaria on virtually any scale. Where the book succeeds most effectively is in its practical sections...this is ultimately a likable and useful book, and one which contains indispensable source material for building aquaria. Community ecologists who want to make mesocosms work will find the appropriate sections excellent starter material." --JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY "This book is crammed with useful information about all aspects of the aquatic sciences and would make a worthwhile addition to every home aquarists's library..." @source-FRESHWATER AND MARINE AQUARIUM

About the Author:

Walter Adey received his B.S. in Geophysics from MIT, performed graduate studies at MIT and Harvard in Paleontology and Biology, and obtained his Ph.D. in Marine Botany and Geology from the University of Michigan. Since 1977, he has been the Director of the Marine Systems Laboratory at the Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Adey is an associate editor for Restoration Ecology and The Journal of Ecological Engineering. He has authored numerous publications, and has developed several exhibits and operational mesocosm systems. Karen Loveland is a multi-international award-winning documentary film maker who has produced and directed films for the Smithsonian Institution for over 30 years. In her present position as Deputy Director for Smithsonian Productions, she assists in the management and programming for Smithsonian media activities as well as overseas production and co-production using a wide variety of electronic technologies and formats. She founded the Smithsonians Motion Picture Unit in 1969. She has been the recipient of more than 70 prestigious national and international awards and honors.

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Walter H. Adey, Karen Loveland
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