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Minnesota’s Natural Heritage

An Ecological Perspective

1995
Author:

John R. Tester

Minnesota’s Natural Heritage

The most complete and colorful treatment of natural Minnesota.

Filled with 128 beautiful color photographs by award-winning nature photographers, this is the most complete treatment available of Minnesota's environment. Through colorful maps, drawings, diagrams, and graphs, Minnesota's Natural Heritage examines lakes, rivers, forests, prairies, farmlands, and wetlands and includes information about significant and interesting plants and animals.

Superb. An absolutely fascinating presentation, in text and illustration, of Minnesota’s tremendous natural heritage. Tester’s prose is direct, clear, and interesting. The photographs, in full color, and drawn from many sources, are spectacular. To read this book is to have a liberal education in our culture heritage and environment. To give it reflects the finest compliment to both giver and recipient. To have had anything to do with its production is to have shared in two of the most important publishing accomplishments of this or any other year.

Elmer Anderson, The Times

More than 14 million people travel to Minnesota each year to enjoy the natural beauty of the state. Minnesota's Natural Heritage is the definitive book on the state’s best tourist attraction: its outdoors.

Filled with 128 beautiful color photographs by award-winning nature photographers Richard Hamilton Smith, Craig Blacklock, Jim Brandenburg, and others, this book explains how the striking natural beauty of Minnesota developed. Colorful maps, drawings, diagrams, and graphs on nearly every page illustrate ecological points while delighting readers' eyes.

Minnesota's Natural Heritage examines the state’s major ecosystems and explains how they function: lakes, rivers, forests, prairies, farmlands, and wetlands are all discussed. Each section details different ecosystems and includes information about significant and interesting plants and animals. The book also describes the geologic history and climate of the state and addresses the environmental issues Minnesota will face in the future.

This is the most complete treatment available of Minnesota's environment. Tester's extensive knowledge and easy-to-read writing support the book throughout.
Minnesota's Natural Heritage is the one-stop nature book for tourists, naturalists, and people who care about the outdoors. It will be an important resource for book buyers across the country.

Awards

Minnesota Book Award winner

Minnesota’s Natural Heritage

John Tester is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He is also a lifelong naturalist who draws on his own experiences in an anecdotal style that readers will find accessible and enjoyable. Whether he is zooming 300 feet over a bog in a Cessna or listing all the birds that breed in Minnesota, Tester provides dynamic insight into what makes these ecosystems unique and important.

Minnesota’s Natural Heritage

Superb. An absolutely fascinating presentation, in text and illustration, of Minnesota’s tremendous natural heritage. Tester’s prose is direct, clear, and interesting. The photographs, in full color, and drawn from many sources, are spectacular. To read this book is to have a liberal education in our culture heritage and environment. To give it reflects the finest compliment to both giver and recipient. To have had anything to do with its production is to have shared in two of the most important publishing accomplishments of this or any other year.

Elmer Anderson, The Times

A beautiful, 352-page hardcover book generously illustrated with photographs by some to the state’s best nature photographers, as well as with color maps and diagrams that neatly summarize environmental data. Tester’s work is one that book sellers have been waiting for-how to easily find out about Minnesota’s natural history with just one book written for a general audience.

Anne Brataas, St. Paul Pioneer Press

Half textbook, half love letter, this beautiful book is a comprehensive, eminently readable guide to the plants and wildlife of Minnesota’s woods, lakes, and prairies. Author John Tester, who teaches at the University of Minnesota, takes a logical approach, going region by region and including personal and historical anecdotes to balance the more scholarly material. It is the illustrations, though-stunning color photos by Bob Firth, Jim Brandenburg, the Blacklocks, and others-that make this book truly unique.

Minnesota Monthly

An excellent, non-technical presentation of key components of Minnesota’s natural history that will be of particular use to professional and amateur naturalists. Highly recommended.

Wildlife Activist

This profusely illustrated book paints a readable, broad-brush picture of the natural history of Minnesota. Though the book boasts an attractive dust cover and color photographs, its content goes well beyond that of the typical coffee-table book. The many maps enable the reader to visualize such things as the geographical extent of historical glaciers; the distribution of weather patterns, topography, landforms, and soils; and the original extent of natural vegetation. Clear diagrams, graphs, and charts illustrate such ecological principles as food chains, energy cycles, natural succession, and population dynamics. In this book the reader can learn about the biology of federally threatened species such as Minnesota’s dwarf trout lily, read about such common members of the natural community as the red-winged blackbird, and find illustrations of purple loosestrife and Eurasian watermilfoil-two of the state’s most troublesome exotic plant species. . . . . the task undertaken by Tester is gigantic and his book provides the first statewide overview of Minnesota’s natural history. Useful to nature-lovers, travelers, and educators, Minnesota’s Natural Heritage should be in the library of every high school and institution of higher learning in the state.

The Minnesota Volunteer

This book is an extraordinary compilation of more than three decades of ecological research throughout Minnesota. Tester’s writing style is inviting, making difficult concepts very intelligible and easy to grasp. Many excellent examples and graphics add even more to the accessibility and understanding of important ecological principles. As if that were not enough, the 130 photographic illustrations simply take your breath away. I recommend this book for anyone interested in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural processes happening all around us. Politicians, business people, educators, activists, students and citizens of any community would benefit from the perspective provided here. It is a book that, while full of important information, is also engaging and enjoyable to read and would be impressive on the coffee table as well.

Cindy Hale, The Prairie Naturalist

Minnesota’s Natural Heritage is a thorough yet very readable study of the varied facets of Minnesota’s environment.

Animal Keepers’ Forum