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The dynamics and outcomes of plant interactions are of increasingly great interest and importance to ecologists and environmental biologists. Ever since the effects of global environmental change have emerged as a major issue, ecologists have increasingly focused their work ...
The dynamics and outcomes of plant interactions are of increasingly great interest and importance to ecologists and environmental biologists. Ever since the effects of global environmental change have emerged as a major issue, ecologists have increasingly focused their work on predicting the responses of natural systems to environmental changes. This has forced us to confront both the unknowns and the complexity of species interactions. Simply put, it is now clear that, without a better understanding of the mechanisms of plant interactions, we will not be able to predict the responses of communities and ecosystems to elevated nitrogen deposition, to changes in species composition and diversity, to elevated atmospheric CO2, to climate change, or to invasive exotic species.
Work on plant interactions has continued unabated of course since the original printing of Perspectives on Plant Competition but the title is generally held to have had a positive effect on subsequent work on plant interactions, both by showcasing the variety of ways in which competition can be approached and by substantially reducing some of the confusion about issues that existed before its publication. It still has an important role to play in guiding future research on plant interactions. Perhaps an additional, continuing value is in the example it serves for the maturation of an important ecological topic. The lasting message of this book is that one cannot fully understand an idea without understanding the perspective upon which it is based, including the systems that have inspired the idea and the finer details of the research goals of those involved. Plant competition will continue to be a multifaceted topic. This book will continue to provide useful guidance for the further exploration of such interactions.
"This is certainly a required book for those working on plant competition, and an important reference for ecologists and biologists in general. In many ways, it will be a landmark, providing a snapshot of research at a critical time in the development of this field." Science 249, 1054
"I strongly recommend this well-edited, thoughtful book to all students of population biology and community ecology." Bioscience 41, 178
Jim Grace obtained his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1980. He subsequently served on the faculty at the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University. He joined the US Geological Survey - National Wetlands Research Center in 1992 and currently holds an Adjunct Professorship in Biology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. His basic research specialization is in plant ecology, with an emphasis on species interactions, biodiversity, invasive species, and conservation biology. He has been elected to the positions of chair and vice-chair of the Ecological Section of the Botanical Society of America.
David Tilman is an experimental and theoretical ecologist interested in biodiversity, in the controls of ecosystem composition, stability and productivity, and in the long-term implications for society of human impacts on global ecosystems. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1976. He immediately came to the University of Minnesota where he now is Regents Professor, holds the McKnight University Presidential Chair in Ecology and is Director of Cedar Creek Natural History Area. He has written two books, edited three books, and published more than 160 scientific papers. In 2001, he was designated the most highly cited environmental scientist of the decade (1990-2000) by the Institute for Scientific Information.