Biology of Freshwater Pollution (4th Edition)

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9780130906397: Biology of Freshwater Pollution (4th Edition)

Biology of Freshwater Pollution, is a highly regarded overview of the subject aimed at advanced undergraduates and professionals.  This latest edition provides an up-to-date summary of the whole field covering recent research, case studies and examples. The book begins by describing contrasting examples of pollution events.  Individual chapters then deal with the major types of pollution introducing their sources, exploring their impacts on biological systems and water resources using contemporary examples, and discussing methods for mitigating impacts.  Techniques used to investigate pollution are introduced throughout and the penultimate chapter deals extensively with the biological assessment of water quality. The final chapter looks at water resource management in the twenty-first century and the role of the biologist in that process.

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About the Author:

Christopher Mason is a Professor of Biology at the University of Essex, UK. He has extensive research experience in the fields of pollution and conservation of freshwater and coastal environments, including eutrophication, heavy metals and organochlorines.

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This fourth edition of Biology of Freshwater Pollution develops some of the new and pressing themes that have emerged in the field of water pollution over the last decade. In particular, global warming caused by human activities is now accepted as fact by most environmental scientists, if not by the majority of industrialists and politicians. If our use of fossil energy is not curbed, the effect on our environmental resources, including water, will be very severe. It has been known for a long time that some contaminants adversely influence reproduction but, in recent years, a whole host of materials in daily use have been grouped under the heading of endocrine disruptors. Male fish living below discharges of treated sewage effluent exhibit female characters. In some places, alligators, turtles and birds are similarly affected. These wildlife species could be acting as sentinels for possible endocrine disrupting effects on ourselves. In Britain the water industry has been reorganized yet again, the newly emerged Environment Agency having a wider environmental remit based firmly on the management of entire catchments. These new subjects are explored in the following pages, this edition having been reorganized so that more tonics are described in fewer chapters.

New themes emerge but old problems do not go away. The contamination of water with our wastes remains the biggest killer of children worldwide. Only a few of our eutrophic lakes have been effectively treated while our attention is turning more to the eutrophication of rivers. Pollution from farmland is a major cause of concern but unlike other industries, which have to pay the costs of their waste treatment, the cost of treating water to remove agricultural chemicals is borne by the consumer in terms of increased charges. Farm run-off, containing nutrients, pesticides and soil, is causing considerable damage to the ecosystems of rivers and adjacent coastal waters. Although there have been great strides made in reducing acidifying gases produced by power stations, the acidification of upland streams remains a major concern. Research priorities change but the solutions to these older problems still require enacting on a large scale by politicians and managers before environmental damage can he reversed. They rarely are.

I would like to thank my wife, Sheila Macdonald, who has read and commented on the contents of this book, as she has on previous editions. The staff of Pearson Education, and especially Alex Seabrook and Pauline Gillett, have been supportive throughout. Chris Mason
February 2001

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