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How can the future number of deer, agricultural pests, or cod be calculated based on the present number of individuals and their age distribution? How long will it take for a viral outbreak in a particular city to reach another city five hundred miles away? In addressing such basic questions, ecologists today are as likely to turn to complicated differential equations as to life histories--a dramatic change from thirty years ago. Population ecology is the mathematical backbone of ecology. Here, two leading experts provide the underlying quantitative concepts that all modern-day ecologists need. John Vandermeer and Deborah Goldberg show that populations are more than simply collections of individuals. Complex variables such as the size distribution of individuals and allotted territory for expanding groups come into play when mathematical models are applied. The authors build these models from the ground up, from first principles, using a much broader range of empirical examples--from plants to animals, from viruses to humans--than do standard texts. And they address several complicating issues such as age-structured populations, spatially distributed populations, and metapopulations. Beginning with a review of elementary principles, the book goes on to consider theoretical issues involving life histories, complications in the application of the core principles, statistical descriptions of spatial aggregation of individuals and populations as well as population dynamic models incorporating spatial information, and introductions to two-species interactions. Complemented by superb illustrations that further clarify the links between the mathematical models and biology, Population Ecology is the most straightforward and authoritative overview of the field to date. It will have broad appeal among undergraduates, graduate students, and practicing ecologists.
Introduction to Population Ecology is an accessible and up-to-date textbook covering all aspects of population ecology. Discusses field and laboratory data to illustrate the fundamental laws of population ecology. Provides an overview of how population theory has developed. Explores single-species population growth and self-limitation; metapopulations; and a broad range of interspecific interactions including parasite-host, predator-prey, and plant-herbivore. Keeps the mathematics as simple as possible, using a careful step-by-step approach and including graphs and other visual aids to help understanding. Artwork from the book is available to instructors online at and by request on CD-ROM.
This is a much-needed up-to-date text on community ecology, covering both the earlier and later paradigms of community ecology with deep expertise.
Biogeography was stuck in a "natural history phase" dominated by the collection of data, the young Princeton biologists Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson argued in 1967. In this book, the authors developed a general theory to explain the facts of island biogeography. The theory builds on the first principles of population ecology and genetics to explain how distance and area combine to regulate the balance between immigration and extinction in island populations. The authors then test the theory against data. The Theory of Island Biogeography was never intended as the last word on the subject. Instead, MacArthur and Wilson sought to stimulate new forms of theoretical and empirical studies, which will lead in turn to a stronger general theory. Even a third of a century since its publication, the book continues to serve that purpose well. From popular books like David Quammen's Song of the Dodo to arguments in the professional literature, The Theory of Island Biogeography remains at the center of discussions about the geographic distribution of species. In a new preface, Edward O. Wilson reviews the origins and consequences of this classic book.
This impressive author team brings the wealth of advances in conservation genetics into the new edition of this introductory text, including new chapters on population genomics and genetic issues in introduced and invasive species. They continue the strong learning features for students - main points in the margin, chapter summaries, vital support with the mathematics, and further reading - and now guide the reader to software and databases. Many new references reflect the expansion of this field. With examples from mammals, birds,...
Why do organisms become extremely abundant one year and then seem to disappear a few years later? Why do population outbreaks in particular species happen more or less regularly in certain locations, but only irregularly (or never at all) in other locations? Complex population dynamics have fascinated biologists for decades. By bringing together mathematical models, statistical analyses, and field experiments, this book offers a comprehensive new synthesis of the theory of population oscillations. Peter Turchin first reviews the conceptual tools that ecologists use to investigate population oscillations, introducing population modeling and the statistical analysis of time series data. He then provides an in-depth discussion of several case studies--including the larch budmoth, southern pine beetle, red grouse, voles and lemmings, snowshoe hare, and ungulates--to develop a new analysis of the mechanisms that drive population oscillations in nature. Through such work, the author argues, ecologists can develop general laws of population dynamics that will help turn ecology into a truly quantitative and predictive science. Complex Population Dynamics integrates theoretical and empirical studies into a major new synthesis of current knowledge about population dynamics. It is also a pioneering work that sets the course for ecology's future as a predictive science.
Ecological Dynamics is unique in that it can serve both as an introductory text in numerous ecology courses and as a resource for more advanced work. It provides a flexible introduction to ecological dynamics that is accessible to students with limited previous mathematical and computational experience, yet also offers glimpses into the state of the art in the field. Ideal for courses in modelling ecological and environmental change, Ecological Dynamics can also be used in other courses such as theoretical ecology, population ecology, mathematical biology and ecology, and quantitative ecology.

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