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Marine Ecological Processes

  • Updated and expanded content includes newest developments in marine ecology
  • Previous edition well-received as both a text and a reference for researchers
  • Detailed illustrations throughout

By: Ivan Valiela(Author)

698 pages, 48 colour & 261 b/w photos and illustrations


Hardback | Apr 2016 | Edition: 3 | #220414 | ISBN-13: 9780387790688
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £67.99 $87/€74 approx

About this book

Marine Ecological Processes presents a comprehensive analysis of the processes controlling marine ecosystems, communities, and populations. Providing an in-depth dissection of marine ecology, Marine Ecological Processes is an introduction to the concepts, approaches, and methods of this evolving discipline. In its third edition, this text maintains the previous structure, introducing marine environments, and covering population, community, and ecosystem levels of organization, as well as relevant biogeochemical and hydrodynamic mechanisms. The content is updated to include major features that new research has revealed in recent decades, but still highlights links to originators of critical ideas in the history of marine sciences. The greatest change in this edition is an expansion of each chapter to capture new awareness, and implications, of the rapid change affecting all aspects of marine environments, driven by anthropogenic forces operating through climate and oceanographic mechanisms.

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Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition

Part I        Primary production in marine environments
Chapter 1       Primary producers in the sea
      1.1       Phytoplankton
      1.2       Benthic producers

Chapter 2      Production: the formation of organic matter
      2.1       Photosynthesis
      2.2       Chemosynthesis
      2.3       Measurement of producer biomass and primary production
      2.4       Contributions by different marine primary producers

Part II       Consumers in Marine Environments
Chapter 3       Dynamics of Populations of Consumers
      3.1       Elements of the Mathematical Description of Growth of Populations
      3.2       Survival Life Tables
      3.3       Fecundity Life Tables
      3.4       Some Properties of Life Table Variables
      3.5       Reproductive Tactics

Chapter 4       Competition for Resources Among Consumers
      4.1       Population Growth in Environments with Finite Resources
      4.2       The Nature of Competition
      4.3       Density-Dependent Control of Abundance
      4.4       Density-Dependent Versus Density-Independent Effects on Abundance
      4.5       Resource Partitioning
      4.6       Niche Breadth and Species Packing

Chapter 5       Feeding and Responses to Food Abundance
      5.1       Introduction
      5.2       Functional Response to Prey Density
      5.3       Numerical Responses by the Predator to Density of Prey
      5.4       Developmental Response to Prey Density

Chapter 6       Food Selection by Consumers
      6.1       Introduction
      6.2       Behavioral Mechanisms Involved in Finding and Choosing Food
      6.3       Factors Affecting Food Selection by Consumers
      6.4       Examples of Feeding Mechanisms at Work: Suspension Feeding
      6.5       Optimization in Food Selection by Consumers
      6.6       Vulnerability and Accessibility of Food Items
      6.7       The Importance of Alternate Prey
      6.8       Interaction of Mechanisms of Predation
      6.9       Predation and Stability of Prey Populations

Chapter 7       Processing of Consumed Energy
      7.1       Flow of Energy Through Consumers
      7.2       Assimilation
      7.3       Respiration
      7.4       Growth
      7.5       Production
      7.6       Energy Budgets for Populations

Part III     Structure and Dynamics of Marine Communities
Chapter 8       Trophic Structure 1: Controls in Benthic Food Webs
      8.1       Defining Food Webs
      8.2       Controls of Community Structure
      8.3       Control Mechanisms in Benthic Communities

Chapter 9       Trophic Structure 2: Components and Controls in Water Column Food Webs
      9.1       Food Webs in Marine Water Columns
      9.2       Microbial Food Webs
      9.3       The Classic Microplankton Food Web
      9.4       Speculations as to Control of Prey Populations by Larger Predators in the Marine Water Column

Chapter 10     Taxonomic Structure: Species Diversity
      10.1     Introduction
      10.2     Measurement of Diversity
      10.3     Factors Affecting Diversity
      10.4     Integration of Factors Affecting Diversity and Some Consequences

Chapter 11     Spatial Structure: Patchiness
      11.1     Scales of Patchiness
      11.2     Description of Spatial Distributions
      11.3     Sources of Patchiness
      11.4     Ecological Consequences of Patchiness
      11.5     The Problem of Upscaling

Chapter 12     Development of Structure in Marine Communities: Colonization and Succession
      12.1     Introduction
      12.2     Colonization Processes
      12.3     Case Histories of Colonization and Succession
      12.4     Interaction Among Communities at Different Stages of Succession
      12.5     Generalized Properties of Succession in Marine Environments

Part IV     Functioning of Marine Ecosystems
Chapter 13     The Carbon Cycle: Production and Transformations of Organic Matter         
      13.1     Inorganic Carbon
      13.2     The Carbon Cycle in Aerobic Environments
      13.3     The Carbon Cycle in Anoxic Environments

Chapter 14     Nutrient Cycles and Ecosystem Stoichiometry
      14.1     Phosphorus
      14.2     Nitrogen
      14.3     Sulfur
      14.4     Ecosystem Energetics and Stoichiometry

Chapter 15     Seasonal Changes in Marine Ecosystems
      15.1     Introduction
      15.2     Water Column Seasonal Cycles
      15.3     Benthic Seasonal Cycles
      15.4     Control of Seasonal Cycles
Chapter 16     Long-Term and Large-Scale Change in Marine Ecosystems
      16.1     Introduction
      16.2     Large-Scale Effects of Long-Term Atmospheric Changes
      16.3     Depletion of Fishery Stocks
      16.4     Eutrophication
      16.5     Toxic Contamination
      16.6     Spread of Exotic Species
      16.7     Harmful Algal Blooms
      16.8     Interception of Freshwater Inputs and Sediment Loads
      16.9     Multiple Factors in Concert: The Case of Black Sea
      16.10   Implications of Long-Term, Large-Scale Changes


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Dr. Ivan Valiela serves as Senior Research Scientist for The Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory. His research includes analysis structure and controls on coastal ecosystems, land-sea couplings, impacts of urbanization and deforestation on coastal ecosystems, management of coastal environments, and international environmental policy.

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