9780226511320

Untangling Ecological Complexity: The MacRoscopic Perspective

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226511320

  • ISBN10:

    0226511324

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1999-02-01
  • Publisher: UNIV OF CHICAGO PRESS
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Summary

Ecologists increasingly find themselves called upon to address the impacts of global change on biodiversity. Yet most studies of biodiversity focus solely on intensive, experimental analyses of localized ecological communities. InUntangling Ecological Complexity,Brian A. Maurer argues for a more pluralistic approach, showing how ecologists might enhance their ability to tackle global problems by incorporating broader spatial and temporal perspectives into their research. Maurer begins by reviewing the strengths and limitations of reductionist experimental approaches. Although these studies have produced much valuable data, their small scale restricts the kinds of inferences that can be drawn from them. Maurer then demonstrates how statistical methods can be used to identify processes (such as dispersal or nonrandom extinction) that operate across broad geographic scales, yet which also have profound impacts on local ecosystems. This macroscopic perspective, Maurer suggests, provides a powerful tool for untangling ecological complexity.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Of Entangled Banks and Humble Bees
1(20)
From Micro to Macro and Back Again
21(27)
Communities on Small Spatial and Temporal Scales
48(18)
Communities as Linear Systems
66(25)
Communities as Nonlinear Systems
91(21)
Macroecology: Expanding the Spatial Scale of Community Ecology
112(30)
Geographic Range Structure: Niches Written in Space
142(21)
Geographic Assembly of Local Communities
163(21)
The Evolution of Species Diversity at the Macroscale
184(23)
The Macroscopic Perspective and the Future of Ecology
207(10)
Literature Cited 217(20)
Index 237

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