Books  Ecology  Ecological Theory and Practice 



By: Michael L Cain(Author), William D Bowman(Author), Sally D Hacker(Author)

688 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, colour tables

Sinauer Associates

Hardback | Jun 2014 | Edition: 3 | #211412 | ISBN-13: 9780878939084
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NHBS Price: £51.99 $66/€59 approx

About this book

The new Third Edition of Ecology remains focused on the primary goal of this bestselling book: to be the best teaching tool possible for students taking their first course in ecology. Toward that end, the authors updated, replaced, or cut sections of the text as appropriate, and they added a new chapter on Behavioral Ecology, an exciting and growing subfield of ecology that always draws high levels of student interest. In addition, recognizing the importance of hands-on learning, each chapter now includes new Analyzing Data exercises in which students work with real data. These exercises enable students to increase their facility with essential skills such as performing calculations, making graphs, designing experiments, and interpreting results. The authors also revised and strengthened key pedagogical features of Ecology, including:

- Hands-On Problems • This popular feature of the Companion Website is designed to sharpen scientific reasoning skills. Students are asked to manipulate data, to explore mathematical aspects of ecology in more detail through quantitative problems, to interpret results from real experiments, and to analyze simple model systems using simulations.
- Case Studies • Chapter-opening Case Studies present an engaging story or interesting application, capturing the reader’s attention while introducing the topic of the chapter. Later, the authors bring the reader full circle with the corresponding “Case Study Revisited” section at chapter’s end.
- Connections in Nature • To facilitate the ability of students to grasp how events in nature are interconnected, each chapter closes with a section that discusses how the material covered in that chapter affects and is affected by interactions at other levels of the ecological hierarchy. Where appropriate, these interconnections are also emphasized in the main body of the text.
- Ecological Applications • Recent years have seen increased interest in applied aspects of ecology. Thus, ecological applications (including conservation biology) are woven into each chapter, helping to capture and retain student interest.
- Links to Evolution • Evolution is a central unifying theme of all biology, and its connections with ecology are very strong. Ecology’s Chapter 6 explores the ecology of evolution at both the population level and as documented in the sweeping history of life on Earth. Evolution-related concepts and applications are also woven through many other chapters.
- Ecological Toolkit • Many chapters include an Ecological Toolkit that describes ecological “tools” such as aspects of experimental design, remote sensing and GIS, mark–recapture techniques, stable isotope analysis, and DNA fingerprinting.
- Climate Change Connections • Many of Ecology’s chapters include a major climate change example, with additional content on the Companion Website. These Climate Change Connections discuss how the example students just read about connects to other levels of the ecological hierarchy and enrich students’ understanding of ongoing climate change and its implications for conservation and ecosystem services.
- In-Class Exercises • These ready-to-go problems take about ten minutes to do and can be used in class or assigned as homework.

This edition replaces the 2nd edition.

Related titles

See the previous edition


The overarching goal for the new Second Edition of Ecology was to enhance...

NHBS Price: £78.00 $99/€89 approx


1. Introduction: The Web of Life

2. The Physical Environment
3. The Biosphere
4. Coping with Environmental Variation: Temperature and Water
5. Coping with Environmental Variation: Energy

6. Evolution and Ecology
7. Life History
8. Behavioral Ecology

9. Population Distribution and Abundance
10. Population Growth and Regulation
11. Population Dynamics

12. Competition
13. Predation and Herbivory
14. Parasitism
15. Mutualism and Commensalism
16. The Nature of Communities

17. Change in Communities
18. Biogeography
19. Species Diversity in Communities

20. Production
21. Energy Flow and Food Webs
22. Nutrient Supply and Cycling

23. Conservation Biology
24. Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Management
25. Global Ecology

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Michael L. Cain, having opted to change careers and focus full-time on writing, is currently affiliated with Bowdoin College, USA. He has instructed students across a wide range of subjects, including introductory biology, ecology, field ecology, evolution, botany, mathematical biology, and biostatistics. His research interests include: plant ecology; long-distance dispersal; ecological and evolutionary dynamics in hybrid zones; and search behavior in plants and animals.

William D. Bowman is Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, affiliated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Mountain Research Station, and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. Dr. Bowman has taught courses in introductory ecology, plant ecology, plant-soil interactions, and ecosystems ecology, and for over two decades he has directed undergraduate summer field courses and research programs. His research focuses on the intersections of physiological ecology, community dynamics, and ecosystem function, particularly in the context of environmental change.

Sally D. Hacker is Professor at Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA where she has been a faculty member since 2004. As a community ecologist interested in natural and managed coastal, dune, and estuarine communities, Dr. Hacker's research explores the structures, functions, and services of communities under varying contexts of species interactions and global change. Her work has most recently focused on the protective role of ecosystems in mitigating coastal vulnerability due to climate change. She is author or co-author on numerous articles and book chapters exploring species interactions, marine invasions, and ecosystem services important to marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management.

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