Elements of Ecology

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-12-28
  • Publisher: Benjamin Cummings
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Known for its evolution theme and strong coverage of the relevance of ecology to everyday life and the human impact on ecosystems, the thoroughly revised Eighth Editionfeatures expanded quantitative exercises, a restructured chapter on life history, a thoroughly revised species interactions unit including a chapter introducing the subject, and a new chapter on species interactions.    To emphasize the dynamic and experimental nature of ecology, each chapter draws upon current research in the various fields of ecology while providing accessible examples that help you understand species natural history, specific ecosystems, the process of science, and ecological patterns at both an evolutionary and demographic scale.   To engage you in using and interpreting data, a wide variety of Quantifying Ecologyboxes walk through step-by-step examples of equations and statistical techniques. The enhanced companion website (www.ecologyplace.com) features new MapMaster"interactive map activities for exploring ecosystems, physical environments, and populations at regional and global scales, along with popular GRAPHit!, and QUANTIFYit! exercises that help you further master and apply math skills, and a new Pearson eText.

Author Biography

Thomas M. Smith, Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, received his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Tennessee in 1982. The main focus of his research over the past two decades has been to develop an individual based theory of community and ecosystems dynamics. As part of this work he has served on numerous national and international panels that have addressed the potential influence of human activities on the global environment. He has authored over 70 publications based on his research, and he has been recognized as one of the most cited scientists in the field of global change research.

      Thomas’s work has taken him to over 70 countries and 6 continents. He has served on the faculty of the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), Australian National University (Canberra, Australia), as well as the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA, USA). In addition, he has held research scientist positions at both Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN, USA) and the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). His has over 20 years of experience teaching the science of ecology to both science and non-science majors.


Robert L. Smith holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology from Cornell University. He is Professor Emeritus of Ecology at West Virginia University. He has spent over 30 years teaching Ecology and conducting field research throughout the world.

His teaching responsibilities have involved mostly undergraduate courses in general ecology and graduate courses in population ecology and wildlife management. His research has included forest-fire related problems in southern West Virginia, vegetational development and succession on abandoned and reclaimed surface mines, the relation between forest vegetational structure and the forest bird community, and forest habitat assessment and habitat evaluation procedures based on vegetational structure.

Smith has served as a consultant to congressional committees, workshops on environmental education and energy and environmental problems, the National Landmarks program of the U.S. Department of Interior, National Research Council Task Forces on wildlife and fisheries issues and ecological classification systems for implementing environmental quality evaluation procedures.

Table of Contents

1. The Nature of Ecology



2. Climate

3. The Aquatic Environment

4. The Terrestrial Environment



5. Ecological Genetics: Adaptation and Natural Selection

6. Plant Adaptations to the Environment

7. Animal Adaptations to the Environment



8. Properties of Populations

9. Population Growth

10. Life History

11. Intraspecific Population Regulation

12. Metapopulations



13. Species Interactions, Population Dynamics and Natural Selection

14. Interspecific Competition

15. Predation

16. Parasitism and Mutualism



17. Community Structure

18. Factors Influencing the Structure of Communities

19. Community Dynamics

20. Landscape Ecology



21. Ecosystem Energetics

22. Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling

23. Biogeochemical Cycles



24. Terrestrial Ecosystems

25. Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems

26. Land-Water Margins

27. Large-scale Patterns of Biological Diversity



28. Population Growth, Resource Use, and Sustainability

29. Habitat Loss, Biodiversity, and Conservation

30 Global Climate Change

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