Theoretical Ecosystem Ecology: Understanding Element Cycles

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Cycles such as the nitrogen cycle are of central importance in the study of ecology. This up-to-date work develops a rigorous mathematical framework within which to model these element cycles and their interactions in plants and soils. The new ecosystem theory presented here generates powerful predictions which are tested extensively against empirical studies of real ecosystems. The successful application of mathematics to ecology will appeal to graduates and researchers in disciplines from ecology to soil science and forestry.
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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

List of important symbols
Pt. I Prelude 1
1 Introduction 3
2 Element cycling 12
Pt. II The Soil 17
3 Theory for homogeneous substrates 19
4 Theory for heterogeneous substrates 34
5 Carbon and nitrogen - applications 61
6 Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur - applications 79
7 Interactions with abiotic factors 91
Pt. III The Plant 111
8 Theory for plant growth 113
9 Plant growth - applications and extensions 139
Pt. IV The Ecosystem 157
10 Elements of an ecosystem theory 159
11 Ecosystems - applications 167
12 Quality - the bridge between plant and soil 186
Epilogue 193
App. A.1 Some properties of the delta function 195
App. A.2 Numerical solutions to (4.7) and to the moment expansion 196
References 201
Solutions to selected problems 222
Subject index 229
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