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From Populations to Ecosystems: Theoretical Foundations for a New Ecological Synthesis


Series: Monographs in Population Biology Volume: 46

By: Michel Loreau

297 pages, Figs, tabs

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Aug 2010 | #183800 | ISBN-13: 9780691122700
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NHBS Price: £39.95 $49/€45 approx
Hardback | Aug 2010 | #183799 | ISBN-13: 9780691122694
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About this book

The major subdisciplines of ecology - population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology and evolutionary ecology - have diverged increasingly in recent decades. What is critically needed today is an integrated, real-world approach to ecology that reflects the interdependence of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. This book proposes an innovative theoretical synthesis that will enable the reader to advance their fundamental understanding of ecological systems and help to respond to today's emerging global ecological crisis.

This reviewer was particularly intrigued by the author's resurrection of the hypothesis that ecosystem complexity and biodiversity supports ecosystem stability, an early romantic notion that turned out to be extremely difficult to demonstrate. He makes a convincing case that this hypothesis may have merit after all. -- Choice


Acknowledgments vii Preface: On Unifying Approaches in Ecology ix Chapter 1: Population and Ecosystem Approaches in Ecology 1 Chapter 2: The Maintenance and Functional Consequences of Species Diversity 19 Chapter 3: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning 56 Chapter 4: Food Webs, Interaction Webs, and Ecosystem Functioning 79 Chapter 5: Stability and Complexity of Ecosystems: New Perspectives on an Old Debate 123 Chapter 6: Material Cycling and the Overall Functioning of Ecosystems 164 Chapter 7: Spatial Dynamics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Metacommunities and Metaecosystems 196 Chapter 8: Evolution of Ecosystems and Ecosystem Properties 225 Chapter 9: Postface: Toward an Integrated, Predictive Ecology 260 References 269 Index 291

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Michel Loreau is professor and Canada Research Chair in theoretical ecology at McGill University.

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