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From the Publisher"The process by which vegetation changes over time has fascinated plant ecologists for at least a century. Early theories emphasized slow, steady change to a hypothetical stable "climax" community. By the 1970s, ecologists began to realize that disturbance was the rule, not the exception, and a rather radical shift in thinking about vegetation took hold. This multidisciplinary compendium seeks to move what might be called disturbance science beyond descriptive approaches to look at how particular physical disturbances actually cause particular ecological effects. The many authors cover, e.g., the specifics of how forces like wind (turbulence, microbursts, etc.) can physically cause stem breakage in trees. Other modes of disturbance treated here include ice storm damage to forests and trees; dynamic processes that affect coastal dunes; fluvial processes related to riparian tree growth; the effects of water-level changes in ponds and lakes; heating effects on vegetation; fire's effects on grasslands and trees; a variety of insect impacts on different systems; and the impact of beavers on woody vegetation. The level of technical detail in the chapters varies greatly, and a few rely heavily on mathematical formulas. Other chapters are essentially literature reviews. Plant ecologists with a process- or mechanistically oriented approach to understanding vegetation change will appreciate this book. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above."