This book proposes a new approach to population biology and ecology. The current paradigm for analyzing population dynamics focuses attention on the growth rate as the main variable responding to the environment, and leads often to predictions of runaway acceleration seldom actually seen in nature. This book proposes and develops an inertial view of population growth, taking note of acceleration, or rate of change of the growth rate between consecutive generations, which allows a simpler model for complex population dynamics, often without invoking species interations, that appears to fit the actual outcomes better than traditional Lotka-Volterra modeling. The maternal effect is presented as a major driver for this shift in modeling orientation. Investment of mothers in the quality of their daughters makes the rate of reproduction depend not only on the current environment, but also on the environment experienced by the previous generation.
Preface; 1. On Earth as it is in the Heavens; 2. Does Ecology Have Laws?; 3. Equilibrium and Accelerated Death; 4. The Maternal E ect Hypothesis; 5. Predator-Prey Interactions and the Period of Cycling; 6. Inertial Growth; 7. Practical Consequences; 8. Shadows on the Wall; A Notes and Further Reading; B Essential Features of the Maternal Effect Model; C Appreciations; Bibliography; Index
...the book is stimulating and undoubtedly has an important message to convey... Steohen Hoskins, The Biologist, October 2006. This book should be of obvious interest to theoretical ecologists. It is certainly accessible to graduate students, and perhaps even to advanced undergraduates. ISBE Newsletter