At the end of the 1970s, when signs of destabilization of forests became visible in Eu rope on a large scale, it soon became obvious that the syndrome called "forest de cline" was caused by a network of interrelated factors of abiotic and biotic origin. All attempts to explain the wide-spread syndrome by a single cause, and there were many of them, failed or can only be regarded as a single mosaic stone in the network of caus es behind the phenomenon. Forest ecosystems are highly complex natural or quasi natural systems, which exhibit different structures and functions and as a conse quence different resilience to internal or external stresses. Moreover, forest ecosys tems have a long history, which means that former impacts may act as predisposing factors for other stresses. The complexity and the different history of forest ecosys tems are two reasons that make it difficult to assess the actual state and future devel opment of forests. But there are two other reasons: one is the large time scale in which forests react, the other is the idiosyncrasy of the reactions on different sites. Due to the slow reaction and the regional complexity of the abiotic environment of forest ecosys tems, a profound analysis of each site and region is necessary to identify the underly ing causes and driving forces when attempting to overcome the destruction of forest ecosystems.
The third colourful and action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. Queen Victoria has a little problem: a series of petty thefts from Buckingham Palace. She calls the Agency for help, and they put Mary Quinn - on her first case as a full-fledged agent - on the case. Going undercover as a domestic servant, Mary's assignment seems simple enough. But before long, a scandal threatens to tear apart the Royal Family. One of the Prince of Wales's irresponsible young friends is murdered in scandalous circumstances and the story, if it became public, would disgrace the young prince. Should the Queen hush things up or permit justice to take its course? Mary's interest in this private matter soon becomes deeply personal: the killer, a drug-addicted Chinese sailor, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, James Easton's engineering firm wins a contract to repair some sewers beneath Buckingham Palace. Trouble is, there's a tunnel that's not on the plans. Its purpose is unclear. But it seems to be very much in use - it's just not clear by whom. These overlapping puzzles offer a perfect opportunity for James and Mary to work together again. If they can still trust one another. If they can suppress the emotions that still torture them. If Mary can forget the sight of that exquisite blonde she sees in James's drawing-room...In this, Mary's most personal case yet, she faces struggles at every level - legal, political, personal. And she has everything to lose.
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