Adaptive Herbivore Ecology: From Resources to Populations in Variable Environments

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-03
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The adaptation of herbivore behaviour to seasonal and locational variations in vegetation quantity and quality is inadequately modelled by conventional methods. Norman Owen-Smith innovatively links the principles of adaptive behaviour to their consequences for population dynamics and community ecology, through the application of a metaphysiological modelling approach. The main focus is on large mammalian herbivores occupying seasonally variable environments such as those characterised by African savannahs, but applications to temperate zone ungulates are also included. Issues of habitat suitability, species coexistence, and population stability or instability are similarly investigated. The modelling approach accommodates various sources of environmental variability, in space and time, in a simple conceptual way and has the potential to be applied to other consumer-resource systems. This text highlights the crucial importance of adaptive consumer responses to environmental variability and is aimed particularly at academic researchers and graduate students in the field of ecology.

Table of Contents

Acronym and symbol conventions
Conceptual origins: variability in time and space
Consumer-resource models: theory and formulation
Resource abundance: intake response and time frames
Resource distribution: patch scales and depletion
Resource quality: nutritional gain and diet choice
Resource constraints: physiological capacities and costs
Resource allocation: growth, storage and reproduction
Resource production: regeneration and attrition
Resource competition: exploitation and density dependence
Resource-dependent mortality: nutrition, predation and demography
Habitat suitability: resource components and stocking densities
Resource partitioning: competition and coexistence
Population dynamics: resource basis for instability
An adaptive resource ecology: foundation and prospects
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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