Ecological Experiments: Purpose, Design and Execution / Edition 1

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Ecological Experiments stresses the importance of manipulative field experimentation in ecology as being superior to the observational method. The book begins with a series of ecological questions that can be answered by experiments, such as: what is the importance of competition among scientists? The minimal requirements of experimental design that should be met for satisfactory field experiments are then introduced, and examples of good and poor experiments from the literature are examined in this light along with a consideration of the trade-offs that may be forced on the experiment by the conditions faced in the field. Included are descriptions of experiments in five different kinds of environments: forests, successional habitats, deserts and semideserts, fresh water (divided into lakes, ponds, and streams), and marine environments (divided according to the kind of substrate). Each experiment is discussed from the standpoint of the ecological question being answered and the quality of ecological design. For most of the environments, the experiments are arranged according to the topic level. The final chapter contains discussions of the results in the different environments, and the conclusions that the experiments in each environment permit. It is shown that interpretations of environmental phenomena must be different for each kind of environment, and that a general theory of ecology is unlikely to be obtainable.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...valuable to biologists interested in conducting field experiments to understand population regulation, interspecific interactions, or community organization. It will provide important supplemental reading for courses in experimental design or field ecology. Those who take the book's lessons with them to the field will surely improve their science." Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

"...the best ecology book to appear in several years. It is instructional, entertaining, and unmatched in the breadth and distinction of its scholarship." Nature

"...should be read, not just by those interested in community structure and competition, but by all who use field experiments in ecology." C. J. Legg, New Phytologist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521346924
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1989
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Ecology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Ecological problems and how they are approached; 2. Minimal requirements of experimental design in ecology; 3. Trade-offs in ecological experimentation; 4. Experiments in forests; 5. Experiments in terrestrial successional communities; 6. Experiments in arid environments; 7. Experiments in fresh water; 8. Experiments in marine environments; 9. Conclusions to be drawn from field experiments; References; Name index; Subject index.

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