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Essentials of Ecology, 3rd Edition,9781405156585
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Essentials of Ecology, 3rd Edition

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  • Outlines and Highlights for Essentials of Ecology by Townsend Isbn : 9781405156585
    Outlines and Highlights for Essentials of Ecology by Townsend Isbn : 9781405156585


This textbook presents introductory ecology in an accessible, state-of-the-art format designed to cultivate the novice student's understanding of, and fascination with, the natural world. In a concise, engaging style, this text outlines the essential principles of ecology from the theoretical fundamentals to their practical applications. Full color artwork, simple pedagogical features, and a wide range of carefully-chosen examples make this book an ideal introduction to ecology for students at all levels.The third edition of this successful text is much more than a simple update, reflecting the vibrancy of the field. With hundreds of new examples, it contains for the first time a separate chapter on evolutionary ecology, with all other chapters, especially those on applied aspects, having been extensively revised and re-written. The new edition also features new artwork and an enhanced design, making this book as attractive as it is up-to-date and relevant.Outstanding features of the third edition of Essentials of Ecology include: Dedicated website - available at, featuring study resources and web research questions Key Concepts - summarized at the beginning of each chapter History boxes outlining key landmarks in the development of ecology Quantitative boxes - allowing mathematical aspects of ecology to be explained clearly without interrupting the flow of the text Topical ECOncerns boxes - highlighting ethical, social and political questions in ecology Review questions - included at the end of each chapter

Author Biography

Colin R. Townsend is the Director of the Ecology, Conservation and Biodiversity Research Group at the University of Otago. He has published over 150 ecology papers and books, including the best-selling and award-winning Ecology, 4th Edition, with co-authors Michael Begon and John L. Harper. He is also co-editor of the international journal Freshwater Biology.

Michael Begon is Professor of Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Liverpool. He has authored several books in addition to Ecology and around 150 research articles. His current research interests are focused on the population ecology of pathogens in wildlife populations.

John L. Harper is an award-winning biologist and a leading figure in plant population biology. He has served as a council member of the Fellowship of the Royal Society and received the Darwin Arward in 1990. He is also the author of Population Biology of Plants and a co-author of Ecology.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. x
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Ecology and how to do itp. 3
Introductionp. 4
Scales, diversity and rigorp. 7
Ecology in practicep. 17
Ecology's evolutionary backdropp. 36
Introductionp. 37
Evolution by natural selectionp. 37
Evolution within speciesp. 41
The ecology of speciationp. 51
Effects of climatic change on the evolution and distribution of speciesp. 58
Effects of continental drift on the ecology of evolutionp. 60
Interpreting the results of evolution: convergents and parallelsp. 63
Conditions and Resourcesp. 67
Physical conditions and the availability of resourcesp. 69
Introductionp. 70
Environmental conditionsp. 71
Plant resourcesp. 84
Animals and their resourcesp. 95
Effects of intraspecific competition for resourcesp. 103
Conditions, resources and the ecological nichep. 106
Conditions, resources and the world's communitiesp. 110
Introductionp. 111
Geographic patterns at large and small scalesp. 111
Temporal patterns in conditions and resourcesp. 117
Terrestrial biomesp. 119
Aquatic environmentsp. 130
Individuals, Populations, Communities and Ecosystemsp. 143
Birth, death and movementp. 145
Introductionp. 146
Life cyclesp. 151
Monitoring birth and death: life tables and fecundity schedulesp. 156
Dispersal and migrationp. 164
The impact of intraspecific competition on populationsp. 169
Life history patternsp. 175
Interspecific competitionp. 182
Introductionp. 183
Ecological effects of interspecific competitionp. 183
Evolutionary effects of interspecific competitionp. 197
Interspecific competition and community structurep. 200
How significant is interspecific competition in practice?p. 208
Predation, grazing and diseasep. 217
Introductionp. 218
Prey fitness and abundancep. 220
The subtleties of predationp. 222
Predator behavior: foraging and transmissionp. 228
Population dynamics of predationp. 233
Predation and community structurep. 246
Evolutionary ecologyp. 251
Introductionp. 252
Molecular ecology: differentiation within and between speciesp. 253
Coevolutionary arms racesp. 262
Mutualistic interactionsp. 267
From populations to communitiesp. 281
Introductionp. 282
Multiple determinants of the dynamics of populationsp. 283
Dispersal, patches and metapopulation dynamicsp. 294
Temporal patterns in community compositionp. 299
Food websp. 307
Patterns in species richnessp. 323
Introductionp. 324
A simple model of species richnessp. 326
Spatially varying factors that influence species richnessp. 328
Temporally varying factors that influence species richnessp. 337
Gradients of species richnessp. 340
Patterns in taxon richness in the fossil recordp. 349
Appraisal of patterns in species richnessp. 352
The flux of energy and matter through ecosystemsp. 357
Introductionp. 358
Primary productivityp. 360
The fate of primary productivityp. 364
The process of decompositionp. 369
The flux of matter through ecosystemsp. 374
Global biogeochemical cyclesp. 380
Applied Issues in Ecologyp. 387
Sustainabilityp. 389
Introductionp. 390
The human population 'problem'p. 391
Harvesting living resources from the wildp. 399
The farming of monoculturesp. 405
Pest controlp. 412
Integrated farming systemsp. 417
Forecasting agriculturally driven global environmental changep. 419
Habitat degradationp. 423
Introductionp. 424
Degradation via cultivationp. 428
Power generation and its diverse effectsp. 435
Degradation in urban and industrial landscapesp. 442
Maintenance and restoration of ecosystem servicesp. 448
Conservationp. 455
Introductionp. 456
Threats to biodiversityp. 459
Conservation in practicep. 468
Conservation in a changing worldp. 476
Finalep. 479
Referencesp. 483
Indexp. 495
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