Ecosystems are complex and enigmatic entities that are ultimately our life support systems. This book explores developments that unfold when math and physics meet ecology. Leading ecologists examine ecosystems from theoretical, experimental, and empirical viewpoints. The book begins by simplifying and synthesizing nature’s complex relationships. It then moves on to explore the mapping between food web structure and function and ends with the role of theory in integrating different research areas.
Table of ContentsSECTION I.- A Process-Oriented Approach to the Multispecies Functional Response.- Homage to Yodzis and Innes 1992: Scaling up Feeding-Based Population Dynamics to Complex Ecological Networks.- Food Webs, Body Size and the Curse of the Latin Binomial.- An Energetic Framework for Trophic Control.- SECTION II.- Experimental Studies of Food Webs: Causes and Consequences of Trophic Interactions.- Interplay Between Scale, Resolution, Life History and Food Web Properties.- Heteroclinic Cycles in the Rain Forest: Insights from Complex Dynamics.- Emergence in Ecological Systems.- Dynamic Signatures of Real and Model Ecosystems.- SECTION III.- Evolutionary Branching of Single Traits.- Feedback Effects Between the Food Chain and Induced Defense Strategies.- Evolutionary Demography: The Invasion Exponent and the Effective Population Density in Nonlinear Matrix Models.- Of Experimentalists, Empiricists, and Theoreticians.