The Moscow-based KMK Publishers brought out a manual for college and university students-Fundamentals of Biogeography (2005). The author is Prof. Vyacheslav Mordkovich of Novosibirsk. At first glance this might not look as an eventful happening, for in the past decade and a half about twenty books on the subject have come off the press. Now biogeography is concerned with the spatial distribution of life, living communities above all, on the globe... But taking a hard second look at this latest publication, we see there is something more to it after all.
Animals of the Hindu-Malayan region. From the book: W. Zedlag, ANIMAL KINGDOM OF THE EARTH, Moscow, Mir Publishers, 1975.
The best-known manual on the subject of biogeog-raphy (author, Prof. Anatoly Voronov) was first published in 1963. Subsequently it saw another five editions, the latest in 2003, revised and supplemented by Prof. Voronov's pupils. Provincial colleges come up with small handbooks every now and then, too. Now what's new about Prof. Mordkovich's book?
The author has understated his work somewhat by calling it a manual and supplying formal references: be that as it may. however, here before us is a 100 percent research monograph (as it is ranked in the imprint, by the way).
So this is a work meant for experts and advanced students. To some extent it is an out-of-the-way book that has no peer in this country, strange as it may seem. What we do have are real, hardcore manuals, text- and handbooks.
To begin with, the author did not bypass the origins of biogeography: the prefatory chapter has much to tell us about its place among other sciences and about the subject-matter in all its theoretical implications and bearings. He reviews the problem of biogeography's interaction with other related disciplines, such as ecology, the landscape science and biosciences. The book is devoid of hollow rhetoric and "verbal husks", which are pardonable in manuals but impermissible in monographs, it s ... Read more