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The Princeton Guide to Ecology

The Princeton Guide to Ecology is a concise, authoritative one-volume reference to the field's major subjects and key concepts. Edited by eminent ecologist Simon Levin, with contributions from an international team of leading ecologists, the book contains more than ninety clear, accurate, and up-to-date articles on the most important topics within seven major areas: autecology, population ecology, communities and ecosystems, landscapes and the biosphere, conservation biology, ecosystem services, and biosphere management. Complete with more than 200 illustrations (including sixteen pages in color), a glossary of key terms, a chronology of milestones in the field, suggestions for further reading on each topic, and an index, this is an essential volume for undergraduate and graduate students, research ecologists, scientists in related fields, policymakers, and anyone else with a serious interest in ecology.

  • Explains key topics in one concise and authoritative volume
  • Features more than ninety articles written by an international team of leading ecologists
  • Contains more than 200 illustrations, including sixteen pages in color
  • Includes glossary, chronology, suggestions for further reading, and index
  • Covers autecology, population ecology, communities and ecosystems, landscapes and the biosphere, conservation biology, ecosystem services, and biosphere management

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691156040
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 09/30/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 848
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 4.01(d)

About the Author

Simon A. Levin is the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology and a professor of ecology and environmental biology at Princeton University, where he directs the Center for BioComplexity. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of many books, including the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. Among his many awards are the Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences, the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Margalef Award for Ecology, and the Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Contributors ix

Part I: Autecology 1

I.1 Ecological Niche 3

I.2 Physiological Ecology: Animals 14

I.3 Physiological Ecology: Plants 20

I.4 Functional Morphology: Muscles, Elastic Mechanisms, and Animal Performance 27

I.5 Habitat Selection 38

I.6 Dispersal 45

I.7 Foraging Behavior 51

I.8 Social Behavior 59

I.9 Phenotypic Plasticity 65

I.10 Life History 72

I.11 Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems 79

I.12 Geographic Range 87

I.13 Adaptation 93

I.14 Phenotypic Selection 101

I.15 Population Genetics and Ecology 109

I.16 Phylogenetics and Comparative Methods 117

I.17 Microevolution 126

I.18 Ecological Speciation: Natural Selection and the Formation of New Species 134

I.19 Adaptive Radiation 143

Part II: Population Ecology 153

II.1 Age-Structured and Stage-Structured Population Dynamics 155

II.2 Density Dependence and Single- Species Population Dynamics 166

II.3 Biological Chaos and Complex Dynamics 172

II.4 Metapopulations and Spatial Population Processes 177

II.5 Competition and Coexistence in Plant Communities 186

II.6 Competition and Coexistence in Animal Communities 196

II.7 Predator-Prey Interactions 202

II.8 Host-Parasitoid Interactions 213

II.9 Ecological Epidemiology 220

II.10 Interactions between Plants and Herbivores 227

II.11 Mutualism and Symbiosis 233

II.12 Ecology of Microbial Populations 239

II.13 Coevolution 247

Part III: Communities and Ecosystems 253

III.1 Biodiversity: Concepts, Patterns, and Measurement 257

III.2 Competition, Neutrality, and Community Organization 264

III.3 Predation and Community Organization 274

III.4 Facilitation and the Organization of Plant Communities 282

III.5 Indirect Effects in Communities and Ecosystems: The Role of Trophic and Nontrophic Interactions 289

III.6 Top-Down and Bottom-Up Regulation of Communities 296

III.7 The Structure and Stability of Food Webs 305

III.8 Spatial and Metacommunity Dynamics in Biodiversity 312

III.9 Ecosystem Productivity and Carbon Flows: Patterns across Ecosystems 320

III.10 Nutrient Cycling and Biogeochemistry 330

III.11 Terrestrial Carbon and Biogeochemical Cycles 340

III.12 Freshwater Carbon and Biogeochemical Cycles 347

III.13 The Marine Carbon Cycle 358

III.14 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning 367

III.15 Ecological Stoichiometry 376

III.16 Macroecological Perspectives on Communities and Ecosystems 386

III.17 Alternative Stable States and Regime Shifts in Ecosystems 395

III.18 Responses of Communities and Ecosystems to Global Changes 407

III.19 Evolution of Communities and Ecosystems 414

Part IV: Landscapes and the Biosphere 423

IV.1 Landscape Dynamics 425

IV.2 Landscape Pattern and Biodiversity 431

IV.3 Ecological Dynamics in Fragmented Landscapes 438

IV.4 Biodiversity Patterns in Managed and Natural Landscapes 445

IV.5 Boundary Dynamics in Landscapes 458

IV.6 Spatial Patterns of Species Diversity in Terrestrial Environments 464

IV.7 Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in Landscapes 474

IV.8 Seascape Patterns and Dynamics of Coral Reefs 482

IV.9 Seascape Microbial Ecology: Habitat Structure, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Function 488

IV.10 Spatial Dynamics of Marine Fisheries 501

Part V: Conservation Biology 511

V.1 Causes and Consequences of Species Extinctions 514

V.2 Population Viability Analysis 521

V.3 Principles of Reserve Design 529

V.4 Building and Implementing Systems of Conservation Areas 538

V.5 Marine Conservation 548

V.6 Conservation and Global Climate Change 557

V.7 Restoration Ecology 566

Part VI: Ecosystem Services 573

VI.1 Ecosystem Services: Issues of Scale and Trade-Offs 579

VI.2 Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Ecosystem Services 584

VI.3 Beyond Biodiversity: Other Aspects of Ecological Organization 591

VI.4 Human-Dominated Systems: Agroecosystems 597

VI.5 Forests 606

VI.6 Grasslands 614

VI.7 Marine Ecosystem Services 619

VI.8 Provisioning Services: A Focus on Fresh Water 625

VI.9 Regulating Services: A Focus on Disease Regulation 634

VI.10 Support Services: A Focus on Genetic Diversity 642

VI.11 The Economics of Ecosystem Services 652

VI.12 Technological Substitution and Augmentation of Ecosystem Services 659

VI.13 Conservation of Ecosystem Services 670

Part VII: Managing the Biosphere 679

VII.1 Biological Control: Theory and Practice 683

VII.2 Fisheries Management 689

VII.3 Wildlife Management 695

VII.4 Managing the Global Water System 701

VII.5 Managing Nutrient Mobilization and Eutrophication 712

VII.6 Managing Infectious Diseases 718

VII.7 Agriculture, Land Use, and the Transformation of Planet Earth 724

VII.8 The Ecology, Economics, and Management of Alien Invasive Species 731

VII.9 Ecological Economics: Principles of Economic Policy Design for

Ecosystem Management 740

VII.10 Governance and Institutions 748

VII.11 Assessments: Linking

Ecology to Policy 754

Milestones in Ecology 761

Glossary 775

Index 793

What People are Saying About This


This is a synoptic survey of our still-advancing understanding of ecological science. It first deals with fundamental principles, ranging from individual plants or animals through populations and ecosystems to entire landscapes. These principles are then applied in insightful discussions of conservation biology, ecosystem services, and ultimately the sustainable management of our planet's biosphere. The 'autecology' of this book is itself remarkable, as tight editing has drawn together contributions from more than one hundred individual authors into a unified whole. In short, the book is a timely and important one.
Robert M. May, University of Oxford


Essential reading for biologists, social scientists, and all interested in a holistic view of the world, this marvelous collection presents the flourishing state of ecology today and its even more exciting prospects for the future.
Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden

James Gustave Speth

The Princeton Guide to Ecology is an exciting development because it brings together in one place accessible articles written by the leading experts across the important field of ecology. Ecology has grown and repeatedly subdivided in recent years, but now we have it back together again with this enormously useful framework and compendium.
James Gustave Speth, Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


A long-needed sourcebook to the science so pertinent to the future, providing rich and eminently readable entries on all aspects of ecology—so valuable that it is hard to imagine how anyone managed without it.
Thomas E. Lovejoy, President, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

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