The secret wisdom of nature Trees, animals, and the extraordinary balance of all living things : stories from science and observation

Peter Wohlleben, 1964-

Book - 2019

"In The Secret Wisdom of Nature, master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world's most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world aro...und us with completely new eyes."--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 508/Wohlleben Checked In
Vancouver ; Berkeley : David Suzuki Institute, Greystone Books 2019.
Main Author
Peter Wohlleben, 1964- (author)
Other Authors
Jane Billinghurst, 1958- (translator)
Item Description
"Originally published in Germany in 2017 as: Das Geheime Netzwerk der Natur."
Translation of: Das geheime Netzwerk der Natur : wie Bäume Wolken machen und Regenwürmer Wildschweine steuern. ©2017.
Physical Description
260 pages ; 20 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 239-249) and index.
  • Introduction
  • 1. Of Wolves, Bears, and Fish
  • 2. Salmon in the Trees
  • 3. Creatures in Your Coffee
  • 4. Why Deer Taste Bad to Trees
  • 5. Ants-Secret Sovereigns
  • 6. Is the Bark Beetle All Bad?
  • 7. The Funeral Feast
  • 8. Bring Up the Lights!
  • 9. Sabotaging the Production of Iberian Ham
  • 10. How Earthworms Control Wild Boar
  • 11. Fairy Tales, Myths, and Species Diversity
  • 12. What's Climate Got to Do with It?
  • 13. It Doesn't Get Any Hotter Than This
  • 14. Our Role in Nature
  • 15. The Stranger in Our Genes
  • 16. The Old Clock
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index
Review by Choice Review

Wohlleben's new book is the final work in his "Mysteries of Nature" series, which includes the bestselling Hidden Life of Trees (2016). He has amassed admirers far beyond his native Germany, where he has worked as a professional forester. Wohlleben has an intimate knowledge of the complexity inherent to ecosystems' functioning. This complexity stands out to him as the primary lesson of nature study and one he portrays with grace as he discusses how salmon impact tree growth, earthworms control wild boar populations, conifers make rain, the comeback of the crane harms free-range pig farmers in Spain, and other such vignettes. As a nature writer, he is congenial, humble, and mostly easy to read. His long years as a professional translate into a caution and skepticism about accepted forest management practices and conservation interventions. One of his conclusions is that the notion of forestry practices being able to successfully combine "commerce and conservation across the whole forest should be banished to the realm of myth and legend." This is an informative and fun book for all readers but will especially benefit students in conservation and forestry. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. --Jonathan Nabe, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Dedicated forester Wohlleben completes his nature trilogy (The Hidden Life of Trees, 2016; The Inner Life of Animals, 2017) with a broad look at the connections between all living things. This deep appreciation for ecology includes a passionate look at many animals, including wolves, salmon, and bears, and reflections on how their presence affects everything around them, from what they eat to plants and trees, bodies of water, rivers, and the very air they pass through. As in all of his works, Wohlleben thoughtfully and lucidly illuminates scientific facts, and his quiet leaps of brilliance are thrilling. As he himself admits in charming asides to the reader, one does not expect wolves, for example, to impact the power of a river in Yellowstone, and yet the evidence he presents to support this is clear and undeniable. In the same vein as all the great nature writers, from Bernd Heinrich to Sy Montgomery to Jane Goodall (an admirer), Wohlleben conveys his findings in passages of pure poetry; he truly is an author to treasure.--Colleen Mondor Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Closing a trilogy on "the mysteries of nature," German forester Wohlleben (The Inner Life of Animals, 2017) examines complex ecosystems and our interventions in them.Early on in the book, the author, a lively and engaging writer, unfolds a pleasingly puzzling tale about how salmon help ensure the health of forests, and forests in turn the health of oceans: "The relationship between tress and fish shows just how complicated ecosystems can be.Fish and rivers, it turns out, play an important role in nutrient redistribution." Teasing out the hows and whys drives Wohlleben's narrative, which touches on matters as various as the role of fire in managing the growth and health of forests and the critical importance of maintaining apex predators in ecosystems that, without them, eventually become something other than what they evolved to be: Kill off wolves and roe deer populations increase in the forests of Germany, which then, browsed and gnawed, sprout grasses where mosses and ferns used to be, changing the composition of the forest and inviting the likes of bark beetles, which in turn "open the door for creatures that make their living off dead wood." Beetles, fire, mudslides: All speak to how human tinkering can have unintended consequences in a vast array of landscapes. So, too, can saving just a single speciesreintroducing the wolf, say, in those altered forests among deer that don't know how to run from the predator, making those forests "a pantry stuffed full of tasty treats." So what's to be done? Writes Wohlleben, in a provocative and slightly contrarian closing, "we don't even need to do anything. Just the opposite, in fact. We need to leave things aloneon as large a scale as possible."Fruitful reading for students of the environment and of environmental literature, of which this is a fine specimen indeed. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.