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Theoretical Ecosystem Ecology: Understanding Element Cycles

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The cycling of elements such as carbon and nitrogen is of central importance in ecology, particularly when humans are causing changes to nutrient cycles on a global scale. This book develops a rigorous mathematical framework to illustrate how nutrient cycles operate and interact in plants and soils, forming the foundations of a new ecosystem theory. Powerful predictions can be generated covering a wide range of ecological phenomena related to nutrient cycling from a few basic equations. These predictions are tested extensively against field and laboratory studies of agricultural and forest ecosystems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...settle in front of the fire for an enjoyable winter's evening reading this book, whose writing combines brilliant clarity and brevity with profound depth." BioScience

"The presentation throughout the book is heavily mathematical. But the authors present good explanations and do not presume an extensive background...the authors admirably achieve their objective. They present a simple algebraic set of equations that capture major features of the plant-litter complex." R.V. O'Neill, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

"...readers of this book can expect to learn a great deal about element cycling, and to gain a better appreciation for what a theoretical approach offers to the field fo ecosystem ecology." James W. McClelland, Ecology

"...the authors are physicists and their book is very mathematical in its approach. It is intended for graduate students and scientists in the field, but it will also be of great interest to students of soil science, plant ecology, forestry, agronomy, and biochemistry." Environment

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521646512
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; List of important symbols; Part I. Prelude: 1. Introduction; 2. Element cycling; 3. Part II. The Soil: 3. Theory for homogeneous substrates; 4. Theory for heterogeneous substrates; 5. Carbon and nitrogen - applications; 6. Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur - applications; 7. Interactions with abiotic factors; Part III. The Plant: 8. Theory for plant growth; 9. Plant growth - applications and extensions; Part IV. The Ecosystem: 10. Elements of an ecosystem theory; 11. Ecosystems - applications; 12. Quality - bridge between plant and soil; Epilogue; Appendices; References; Solutions to selected problems; Index.

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