Praise for the first edition—
“This book is guaranteed to enrich the reader's next forest visit.”—Library Journal
“Pielou's book brings forest ecology to naturalists, bird lovers, hikers, cyclists, canoeists, skiers, mountaineers, and back-country campers.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“It is E. C. Pielou's contention that evergreen forests… are taken for granted and rarely well understood. To remedy this, the distinguished biogeographer has written a book focusing on the northern evergreen forests. This is a book that many naturalists, both novice and experienced, will read with pleasure and interest.”—Canadian Field-Naturalist
“Pielou makes a strong, irrefutable, case for the preservation of old-growth forests and wilderness. Anyone who appreciates the outdoors should have this book and take its message to heart.”—Forest Planning Canada
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.