Books et al.Ecology

Adapting to the Anthropocene

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Science  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6354, pp. 878
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1473

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Way back at the turn of the mil­lennium, political scientist and climate provocateur Bjorn Lom­borg pointed out with some sat­isfaction that the island of Puerto Rico, despite very extensive de­forestation and land conversion, was home to more bird species than ever before. Some 10 years later, a pair of high-profile studies of­fered a surprising generalization: On average, various sites the world over showed no net loss of species over time. How does this square with the fact that we are witnesses to a toll of extinction perhaps rivaling the one that decimated the dinosaurs? In Inheritors of the Earth, respected ecologist Chris Thomas tours the globe to help us make sense of these con­flicting patterns.