In this volume 19 leading experts offer a timely and coherent overview of the fundamental principles of ecosystem science. They examine the flux of energy and biologically essential elements and their associated food webs in major terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, cultivated land, streams, coral reefs, and ocean basins. In each case, interactions between different eosystems, predictive models, and the application of ecosystem research to the management of natural resources are given special emphasis. A number of theoretical chapters provide a synthesis through critical discussion of current concepts of ecosystem energetics and dynamics.
Table of Contents1. The Ecosystem Perspective.- 2. The Origin of Ecosystems by Means of Subjective Selection.- 3. The Past, Present, and Future of Ecological Energetics.- 4. Freshwater Ecosystems: A Perspective.- 5. Achievements and Challenges in Forest Energetics.- 6. Abiotic Controls on Primary Productivity and Nutrient Cycles in North American Grasslands.- 7. Grasslands and Savannas: Regulation of Energy Flow and Nutrient Cycling by Herbivores.- 8. Agroecosystems Processes.- 9. Ocean Basin Ecosystems.- 10. The Cycling of Essential Elements in Coral Reefs.- 11. Coral Reef Energetics.- 12. The Study of Stream Ecosystems: A Functional View.- 13. Energy Flow and Trophic Structure.- 14. Scale, Synthesis, and Ecosystem Dynamics.- 15. Towards Predictive Models for Coastal Marine Ecosystems.- 16. Problems and Challenges in Ecosystem Analysis.- References.