Krakatau: The Destruction and Reassembly of an Island Ecosystem

Ian Thornton, Author, I. W. B. Thornton, Author
Ian Thornton, Author, I. W. B. Thornton, Author Harvard University Press $45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-674-50568-1
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-674-50572-8
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On August 27, 1883, the volcanic Pacific island of Krakatau exploded with enormous force, killing upwards of 37,000 people, destroying two-thirds of its land mass and, most likely, extirpating all the island's flora and fauna. Such a large amount of ash was spewed into the atmosphere that global temperatures dropped significantly and beautiful sunsets became the norm for years. In a comprehensive treatise, zoology professor Thornton addresses all aspects of this remarkable event. Chapters outline the underlying geology, discuss whether all life on the island was killed during the explosion, summarize the patterns of recolonization and analyze the impact of recolonization according to the equilibrium theory of island biogeography. Although there is a good deal of interesting material, most of the book is too dry and technical to be fully accessible to a popular audience, while the general tone is too introductory to please professionals. Illustrations. (Feb.)
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