388 pages, Figs
The view of nature as 'red in tooth and claw', as a jungle in which competition and predation are the predominant themes, has long been important in both the scientific and popular literature. However, in the past decade another view has become widespread among ecologists: the idea that mutualisms-mutually beneficial interactions between species-are just as important as competition and predation. This book is one of the first to explore this theme. Ideas and theories applicable to all sorts of mutualisms are presented and, where appropriate, examined in the light of concrete data. Themes explored include: the organisms involved, both animal and plant; how specializations evolved once mutualisms formed; how mutualisms affect population dynamics and community structure; and the role of mutualisms in different environments. The book will be of special interest to ecologists and a wide range of biologists.
"Excellent...A useful technical contribution richly studded with biological data, historical references, and thoughtful theoretical insights." --Choice
"After decades of neglect, mutualism finally is receiving the attention it deserves from ecologists and evolutionists. The Biology of Mutualism is the first edited volume in many years devoted to the subject....An interesting and balanced short history of mutualism." --The Quarterly Review of Biology
"A very useful summary of what is known about mutualisms....required reading for everyone interested in species interactions." --Ecology
"A useful book that illustrates the diversity of questions and approaches that are developing in the study of mutualism." --American Scientist
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