Download e-book for iPad: Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

By John Reader

ISBN-10: 0141926937

ISBN-13: 9780141926933

Drawing on a long time of African adventure, John Reader has written a publication of startling grandeur and scope that recreates the good landscape of African background, from the primeval cataclysms that shaped the continent to the political upheavals dealing with a lot of the continent this present day. Reader tells the extreme tale of humankind's edition to the ferocious hindrances of woodland, river and wasteland, and to the specter of debilitating parasites, micro organism and viruses unrivaled somewhere else on the earth. He additionally exhibits how the world's richest collection of animals and vegetation has helped - or hindered - human development in Africa.

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Sample text

Suppose that the system is given a pulse of the radioactive C-14 isotope in the form of carbon dioxide. The model can then (after some mathematical exercise, but not requiring more field data) be converted into an analytical mode1 which predicts where the radioactive material will be found at any time following the pulse. It is implicit that the system is in a steady over the time span followed. In a similar way the fate of some pollutant in the given ecosystem can be predicted. I apologise for the crude simplification in the following, but I wish only to present the principle of using this type of model: assume that the marsh is polluted with DDT.

Data on the phenotypic variation in the fish were also collected some 60 years earlier and suggest that the small isolated population in the inner part of the fjord has persisted for at least that period [35]. 6 Ecology and Physiology The relation of an organism to its physical and chemical environment is always an important factor when its distribution in nature is studied. Connell's study on the vertical distribution of two species of barnacles on a rocky intertidal coast in Scotland provides an example of the combined effect of physical and biological factors [36].

Redrawn from Ayala [32] are identical and that they remain constant during the processes under study. It is therefore implied that the time-scale of evolutionary events is much longer than that of ecological events. This is not necessarily true. It is well known that bacterial strains may quickly evolve strains that are resistant to various antibiotics just as many insect pests, over a span of few years, become resistant to certain pesticides. A more direct evidence for evolutionary change within an 'ecological time-scale' is provided by the experiments shown in Figure 7 with fruit flies in population cages.

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Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

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