Winner of theMarsh Book of the Year Award 2012 by the British Ecological Society. In A Resource-Based Habitat View for Conservation Roger Dennis introduces a novel approach to the understanding of habitats based on resources and conditions required by organisms and their access to them, a quantum shift from simplistic and ineffectual notions of habitats as vegetation units or biotopes. In drawing attention to what organisms actually use and need in landscapes, it focuses on resource composition, structure and connectedness, all of which describe habitat quality and underpin landscape heterogeneity. This contrasts with the current bipolar view of landscapes made up of habitat patches and empty matrix but illustrates how such a metapopulation approach of isolated patchworks can grow by adopting the new habitat viewpoint. The book explores principles underlying this new definition of habitat, and the impact of habitat components on populations, species' distributions, geographical ranges and range changes, with a view to conserving resources in landscapes for whole communities.
It does this using the example of butterflies - the most alluring of insects, flagship organisms and key indicators of environmental health - in the British Isles, where they have been studied most intensively. The book forms essential reading for students, researchers and practitioners in ecology and conservation, particularly those concerned with managing sites and landscapes for wildlife.
Roger Dennis was educated at Oswestry School , Shropshire and at Durham University where he was awarded a Scholarship, a Class 1 BA in Geography and where later he obtained his PhD in Human Biology. After a short postdoctoral fellowship at Durham , he taught at The Manchester Grammar School until early retirement in 1993 following a spinal injury. Subsequently, he has received a succession of honorary research fellowships during which he has studied butterfly biogeography and ecology, producing over 175 publications. He is author of 'The British Butterflies. Their Origin and Establishment' (1977), 'Butterflies and Climate Change' (1993), joint author of 'Butterflies on British and Irish Offshore Islands ' (1996) and edited 'The Ecology of Butterflies in Britain ' (1992). He is currently an Honorary Visiting Professor at Staffordshire University and an Honorary Research Fellow at both NERC's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford , and in the School of Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University; he serves on the editorial board of four journals. In 2006, he received the Marsh Award for Lifetime Achievement in Lepidoptera Conservation. He lives in Cheshire with his wife Margaret and has one daughter, Pamela.