Volume 27 of the Excellence in Ecology series is by a natural historian trying to make a difference in an increasingly stressed natural world. It tells of a personal journey into general ecology and then, at first reluctantly, into its application to one of the great environmental changes of our age – freshwater acidification. The book shows how scientific natural history can play a role in the diagnosis of environmental problems and in suggesting remedies for them; and illustrates the pitfalls of predicting the future and the easy wisdom of hindsight. Freshwater acidification is an excellent example of the positive contributions ecological science can make, here to an issue that is now considered mature and some feel is disappearing into the rear-view mirror of environmental concerns – with possible lessons for the future and new problems as they arise.
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