Cliff Ecology

Pattern and Process in Cliff Ecosystems

Cliffs are present in virtually every country on earth. The lack of scientific interest in cliffs to date is in striking contrast to the commonness of cliffs around the world and to the attraction cliffs have had for humans throughout history. Cliffs provide a unique habitat, rarely investigated from an ecological viewpoint. This book aims to destroy the impression of cliffs as geological structures devoid of life, by reviewing information about the geology, geomorphology, microclimate, flora, and fauna of both sea and inland cliffs. For the first time, evidence is presented to suggest that cliffs worldwide may represent an invaluable type of ecosystem, consisting of some of the least disturbed habitats on earth and contributing more to the biodiversity of a region than their surface coverage would indicate.


 Reviews:

"The authors have shown that while we do not know much about cliffs, what little we do know is so intriguing that we ought to be paying a lot more attention to these places. In the face of our self-inflicted ignorance or 'cliff-blindness", Cliff Ecology presents a very thorough refutation of the most egregious misconceptions (and) provides a major point of departure for future research on cliffs." Tyler Smith, The Canadian Field-Naturalist

"I quickly learned that Cliff Ecology is a far more wide-ranging, both in subject matter geography, than I anticipated ... in an impressive way." Biodiversity

"A very readable and interesting volume." Choice

"The authors' thoroughness and devotion to detail, and their vision that cliffs require conservation measures, should result in national and international recognition of the importance of cliff ecology and cliff conservation." American Scientist

"The book is well written and well produced." Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists

"This is a well written and richly illustrated book. Its purpose is adequately explained and it is oriented to a wide public, from researchers and educators to students and professional land managers...should prove to be a useful reference tool for a wide range of people interested in cliffs or somehow comparable environments (rock outcrops, urban environments) for research, management or education...it provides an excellent example of how to manage with scarce and heterogeneous information to properly highlight findings and uncertainties about peculiar, relatively discrete, ecosystems." Ecoscience

"With publication of this book, the world of cliffs should finally receive the attention it deserves. The author's thoroughness and devotion to detail, and their vision that cliffs require conservation measures, should result in national and international recognition of the importance of cliff ecology and cliff conservation." American Scientist

"Is this book worth purchasing and reading? Unequivocally, yes. The authors have undertaken an arduous task, to compile, synthesize, and present 'everything tat is known about cliffs into a single accessible volume." Ecology

"A delightful change from much that is written today in the name of ecology." Journal of Ecology

"Most striking." On the Edge