In this age of increasing human domination of the Earth'sbiological and physical resources, a basic understanding of ecologyis more important than ever. Students need a textbook thatintroduces them to the basic principles of ecological science, onethat is relevant to today's world, and one that does not overwhelmthem with detail and jargon.
Peter Cotgreave and Irwin Forseth have designed this book tomeet the needs of these students, by providing a basic synthesis ofhow individual organisms interact with their physical environment,and with each other, to generate the complex ecosystems we seearound us. The unifying theme of the book is biodiversity-itspatterns, causes, and the growing worldwide threats to it.
Basic ecological principles are illustrated using clearlydescribed examples from the current ecological literature. Thisapproach makes the book valuable to all students studying ecology.Examples have been chosen carefully to represent as wide a range ofecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic, northern and southernhemisphere) and life forms (animal, plant and microbe) as possible.Particular attention is paid to consequences of global change onorganisms, populations, ecological communities and ecosystems. Theend result is a text that presents a readable and persuasivepicture of how the Earth's natural systems function, and how thatfunctioning may change over the coming century.
· strong coverage of applied and evolutionary ecology
· applications of ecology to the real world
· a question-orientated approach
· the only comprehensive treatment of ecology written for theintroductory student
· an emphasis on definitions of key words and phrases
· an integration of experimental, observational andtheoretical material
· examples drawn from all over the world and a wide variety oforganisms
· a logical structure, building from the response ofindividual organisms to physical factors, through population growthand population interactions, to community structure and ecosystemfunction
· suggested further reading lists for each chapter
· boxes to explain key concepts in more depth
· dedicated textsite featuring additional information andteaching aids www.blackwellpublishing.com/cotgreave
Peter Cotgreave is an animal ecologist who has worked for theUniversity of Oxford and the Zoological Society of London. Hisresearch interests centre on abundance and rarity within animalcommunities. Irwin Forseth is a plant physiological ecologist whohas taught introductory ecology and plant ecology at the Universityof Maryland since 1982. His research focuses on plant responses tothe environment. The authors have studied organisms as diverse asgreen plants, insects and mammals in habitats from deserts totropical rainforests. They have worked in ecological research andeducation in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe and theCaribbean.