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The regions of the world which experience a mediterranean type climate, with a cool wet season alternating with a hot dry summer, contain some of the world's most attractive landscapes. In the Old World, the mediterranean landscapes became the cradle of civilization; other mediterranean areas of the world have attracted considerable populations for many centuries. These large human populations have exerted consid- erable stress on the fragile ecosystems which developed in these sunny, but droughted, fire-prone land- scapes. The mediterranean landscape has thus become one of the most threatened in the world. In recent years much has been learned about the structure and function of mediterranean-type ecosystems (Di Castri and Mooney 1973, Mooney 1977, Thrower and Bradbury 1977, Mooney and Conrad 1977, Specht 1979, 1981, Miller 1981, Di Castri et at. 1981, Conrad and Oeche11982, Queze11982, Margaris and Mooney 1981, Kruger et ai. 1983, Long and Pons 1984, Dell et ai. 1986, Tenhunen et ai. 1987). Much of this research has been fostered under the International Biological Program (IBP), UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) and, recently, the International Society of Mediterranean Ecologists (ISOMED). To facilitate intercontinental comparisons, many of these studies have concentrated on a limited number of intensive sites thought to be representative of a general region.
The Black Sea ecosystem is a unique marine environment. Its isolation from the ocean and large catchment basin, covering industrial and rural parts of the European and Asian continents, render the Black Sea ecosystem extremely vulnerable to the imposed environmental burdens Complex scientific problems related to the recent evolution of the Black Sea ecosystem were tackled in the framework of the NATO TU BLACK SEA project Ecosystem modelling as a management tool for the Black Sea', implemented between 1993 and 1997. The primary results and the products of the TU BLACK SEA project were presented to the scientific community at a dedicated symposium held on 15-19 June, 1997 at Zori Rossii on the Crimean coast of the Black Sea. The present two volumes contain 47 of the papers presented at the symposium, selected by peer review. Volume I contains 27 papers in all, two on the NATO TU Black SEA database and database management system, eight on the Black Sea biogeochemistry, and 17 on the biological structure of the basin. Of the 20 papers appearing in Volume II, nine are physical processes and 11 are on the modelling of the circulation and the ecosystems of the Black Sea.
Countless ants transport and deposit seeds and thereby influence the survival, death, and evolution of many plant species. In higher plants, seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) has appeared many times independently in different lineages. More than 3000 plant species are known to utilize ant assistance to be planted. Myrmecochory is a very interesting and rather enigmatic form of mutualistic ant-plant associations. This phenomenon is extremely complex, because there are hundreds of ant species connected with hundreds of plant species. This book effectively combines a thorough approach to investigating morphological and physiological adaptations of plants with elegant field experiments on the behaviour of ants. This monograph is a first attempt at collecting information about morphology, ecology and phenology of ants and plants from one ecosystem. The book gives readers a panoramic view of the hidden, poorly-known interrelations not only between pairs of ants and plant species, but also between species communities in the ecosystem. The authors have considered not just one aspect of animal-plant relationships, but have tried to show them in all their complexity. Some aspects of the ant-plant interactions described in the book may be of interest to botanists, others to zoologists or ecologists, but the entire work is an excellent example of the marriage of these biological disciplines.
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