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In Lakes, John Richard Saylor explores a very common body of water that is of great ecological importance, revealing that there is much more beyond the surface. Readers will learn that even the most ordinary of lakes experience a scientific drama not unlike the emotional drama of their human counterparts. In spite of the calm pastoral nature that we see in the small duck pond down the street or the larger lake with the sailboat gliding across it in the distance, these everyday lakes experience an array of profound and wondrous processes, often hidden in plain sight.
Lakes begins with how various lakes are born and what defines them. Saylor then explores the physical properties of lakes and the plant and animal life they support and shows how they interact to create rich ecosystems. Finally, he shows us the ways in which lakes die, either through human impacts or natural processes. As we look toward a future in which fresh water may become scarce, it couldn’t be more important to understand how lakes function and how to keep them alive and thriving.