Ecosystems are complex and enigmatic entities that are ultimately our life support systems. Understanding these systems to the point of being able to predict their behaviour in the face of perturbations requires that researchers adopt a number of strategies that vary in both approach and scale. This book, in a sense, is representative of some of the developments that have unfolded when math and physics met ecology. Here, some of the world's leading ecologists examine ecosystems from theoretical, experimental, and empirical viewpoints, from energetics to ecosystems.
The book begins with 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. From the breadth of systems analyzed to the rigor of approaches taken, this book is not only a useful resource for students and researchers in ecology, but serves as a fitting tribute to the life and work of Peter Yodzis.
From the reviews: "The book presents a baker's dozen of chapters by an impressive list of researchers in the field. ! most papers revolve around mathematical analyses of complex systems, emphasizing generalities all the while ensuring relevance to the field. ! In addition to making valuable contributions to research, therefore, the book also could serve as a text for graduate students in ecology wishing to bolster their background in theory." (P. A. Rossignol, Environmental Biology of Fishes, Vol. 83, 2008)
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