Why Does the World Stay Green?: Nutrition and Survival of Plant-eaters

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TCR White
Csiro Publishing, Oct 3, 2005 - Science - 128 pages
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Nearly every form of life has the capacity to multiply and increase at a really astonishing rate. Think of plagues of locusts or mice. Clearly, for the vast majority of animals this does not happen, otherwise they would swamp the world and destroy all the plants. So why doesn’t it happen, and why does the world stay green? The concept explored in this book contends that animals are not controlled through predation but because plants have outwitted them, they cannot obtain enough of the food they must have to reproduce and grow. Why Does the World Stay Green? explains, in simple terms, how this comes about in nature and describes some of the many fascinating ways in which animals have evolved to cope with this usually chronic shortage of an essential resource. It is fascinating and easy-reading for anyone interested in natural history. The author, TCR White, has acted as a strong influence for the last 40 years on the ecological community, presenting confronting and at times controversial theories on the limiting role that nitrogen plays in the evolution of life. Why Does the World Stay Green? reveals this fascinating and important ecological theory.
  

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Contents

Chapter 1 The green world
1
Chapter 2 Herbivores are fussy eaters
15
Chapter 3 With a little help from microbes
33
Chapter 4 Meateating vegetarians and cannibals
47
Chapter 5 Feeding the favoured few
63
Chapter 6 Inefficient killers
79
Chapter 7 Plagues outbreaks and the tyranny of weather
93
Afterword
111
Further reading
115
Index
118
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