Global warming and human-driven impacts from logging, natural gas drilling, mining of oil sands, and the development of hydropower increasingly threaten North America's northern forests. These forests are far from being a uniform environment; close inspection reveals that the conifers that thrive there-pines, larches, spruces, hemlocks, firs, Douglas-firs, arborvitaes, false-cypresses, junipers, and yews-support a varied and complex ecosystem. In The World of Northern Evergreens, the noted ecologist E. C. Pielou introduces the biology of the northern forests and provides a unique invitation to naturalists, ecologists, foresters, and everyone living in northern North America who wants to learn about this unique and threatened northern world and the species that make it their home.
Through identification keys, descriptions, and life histories of the conifer tree species, the author emphasizes how different these plants are both biologically and evolutionarily from the hardwoods we also call "trees." Following this introduction to the essential conifers, the author's perceptive insights expand to include the interactions of conifers with other plants, fungi, mammals, birds, and amphibians.
The second edition, enriched by new illustrations by the author of woodland features and creatures, updates the text to include new topics including mycorrhizal fungi, soil, woodlice, bats, and invasive insects such as the hemlock woolly adelgid. Emphasis is given to the very real human-driven impacts that threaten the species that live in and depend on the vital and complex forest ecosystem. Pielou provides us with a rich understanding of the northern forests in this work praised for its nontechnical presentation, scientific objectivity, and original illustrations.