Human expansion and interference have detrimental effects as civilizations continue to encroach on previously undisturbed habitats. As a result, many species of animals and plants must struggle to survive. Biodiversity reveals the important role each of these life forms plays in its ecosystem as well as the irreversible and extensive consequences that would result from a massive loss of biodiversity. It explores the ecological and evolutionary processes, how these processes depend on the cohabitation of a wide range of life forms within an ecosystem, and how the existence of these diverse organisms maintains a crucial stability in the natural world. Beginning with an introduction to biodiversity, this new volume discusses its importance and history, the difficulties in maintaining it, and past and current efforts to protect ecosystems from greater destruction. It examines five specific case studies, including the United States, Indonesia, New Zealand, Madagascar, and Costa Rica, describing the current status and history of biodiversity, obstacles, and conservation efforts in the country at hand.<\p>
Natalie Goldstein is a freelance writer who has written numerous books for the educational market, including textbooks and teacher's guides for middle schools and encyclopedias for high schools. She lives in Brooktondale, New York. Frank W. Musgrave is director of the Southern Tier Center for Economic Education and professor of economics at Ithaca College in New York. He obtained an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, where he was a Walter Russell Scholar. His published books include The Economics of U.S. Health Care Policy: The Role of Market Forces and How to Prepare for the AP Micro/Macro Economics Exam, among others. He lives in Ithaca, New York.