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Community ecology is the study of the interactions between populations of co-existing species. This book provides a survey of the state-of-the-art in theory and applications of community ecology, with special attention to topology, dynamics, the importance of spatial and temporal scale, as well as applications to emerging problems in human-dominated ecosystems (including the restoration and reconstruction of viable communities). It adopts a mainly theoretical approach and focuses on the use of network-based theory which remains little explored in standard community ecology textbooks.
The book includes discussion of the effects of biotic invasions on natural communities, the linking of ecological network structure to empirically measured community properties and dynamics, the effects of evolution on community patterns and processes, and the integration of fundamental interactions into ecological networks. A final chapter indicates future research directions for the discipline. This book provides ideal graduate seminar course material.
Preface; Introduction; PART I SHAPE AND STRUCTURE; 1. The Topology of Ecological Interaction Networks: The State of the Art; PART II DYNAMICS; 2. Trophic Dynamics of Communities; 3. Modeling the Dynamics of Complex Food Webs; 4. Community Assembly Dynamics in Space; PART III SPACE AND TIME; 5. Increasing Spatio-Temporal Scales: Metacommunity Ecology; 6. Spatio-Temporal Structure in Soil Communities and Ecosystem Processes; PART IV APPLICATIONS; 7. Applications of Community Ecology Approaches in Terrestrial Ecosystems: Local Problems, Remote Causes; 8. Sea Changes: Structure and Functioning of Emerging Marine Communities; 9. Applied (Meta)community Ecology: Diversity and Ecosystem Services at the Intersection of Local and Regional Processes; 10. Community Ecology and Management of Salt Marshes; PART V FUTURE DIRECTIONS; 11. Evolutionary Processes in Community Ecology; 12. Emergence of Complex Food Web Structure in Community Evolution Models; 13. Mutualisms and Community Organization; 14. Emerging Frontiers of Community Ecology; References; Index
"Overall this book contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms shaping ecological communities. It also helps modelers to think about the mechanisms to test with the current explosion of high resolution data and models."
– Carlos J. Melian, in Trends in Ecology and Evolution