This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  



Biogeography is the science of the distribution of plants and animals. Starting from synoptic pictures of those distributions (usually in the form of maps) it investigates the processes which have brought about those patterns. In that sense it has mostly been a historic science but in recent years some engagement with predictability has emerged. An increasing preoccupation with biodiversity is also characteristic of recent years. It starts inevitably with a concern for classification (taxonomy) for if the basic units of the distributions (be they sub-species, species, genera, families or even larger classification units, or taxa) are not defined then the portrayal of distributions is meaningless.

The distribution of biological taxa involves different spatial scales and is also concerned with time: some species’ distributions are the result ...

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