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This updated ecology textbook addresses the issue of diversity using a palaeoecological understanding of the time scales involved. It stresses natural selection and contingency in order to explain adaptation, and reflects the theoretical work of Robert May and his colleagues.
Partial table of contents: ENERGY. The Energy Flow Paradigm. Ecological Efficiency and Plant Design. Heat Budgets and Life Forms. The Energetics of Lifestyle. DIVERSITY. The Competition Hypothesis. The Ecology of the Origin of Species. The Natural Regulation of Numbers. The Cause and Consequence of Sex. Predation as Diversity Inducer. Coevolution: Mutualists, Defenders, and Mimics. COMMUNITY. The Ecologist's Time Machine. Phytosociology. Ecological Succession. Communities on Islands. SYSTEM. Ecosystems Defined by Cycles. Productivity. The Soil. Lakes: Type Specimens of Aquatic Ecosystems. The Origin and Maintenance of the Air. Postscript: The Human Impact. Glossary. References. Index.