The revised and updated fifth edition of Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems – now in full colour – offers students and practitioners a review of the ecological sciences.
The previous editions of this book earned the authors the prestigious 'Exceptional Life-time Achievement Award' of the British Ecological Society – the aim for the fifth edition is not only to maintain standards but indeed to enhance its coverage of ecology.
In the first edition, 34 years ago, it seemed acceptable for ecologists to hold a comfortable, objective, not to say aloof position, from which the ecological communities around us were simply material for which we sought a scientific understanding. Now, we must accept the immediacy of the many environmental problems that threaten us and the responsibility of ecologists to play their full part in addressing these problems. This fifth edition addresses this challenge, with several chapters devoted entirely to applied topics, and examples of how ecological principles have been applied to problems facing us highlighted throughout the remaining nineteen chapters.
Nonetheless, the authors remain wedded to the belief that environmental action can only ever be as sound as the ecological principles on which it is based. Hence, while trying harder than ever to help improve preparedness for addressing the environmental problems of the years ahead, the book remains, in its essence, an exposition of the science of ecology. This new edition incorporates the results from more than a thousand recent studies into a fully up-to-date text.
Written for students of ecology, researchers and practitioners, the fifth edition of Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems is an essential reference to all aspects of ecology and addresses environmental problems of the future.
Introduction: Ecology and its Domain
Chapter 1 Organisms in their Environments: the Evolutionary Backdrop
Chapter 2 Conditions
Chapter 3 Resources
Chapter 4 Matters of Life and Death
Chapter 5 Intraspecific Competition
Chapter 6 Movement and Metapopulations
Chapter 7 Life History Ecology and Evolution
Chapter 8 Interspecific Competition
Chapter 9 The Nature of Predation
Chapter 10 The Population Dynamics of Predation
Chapter 11 Decomposers and Detritivores
Chapter 12 Parasitism and Disease
Chapter 13 Facilitation: Mutualism and Commensalism
Chapter 14 Abundance
Chapter 15 Pest Control, Harvesting and Conservation
Chapter 16 Community Modules and the Structure of Ecological Communities
Chapter 17 Food Webs
Chapter 18 Patterns in Species Composition in Space and Time
Chapter 19 Patterns in Biodiversity and their Conservation
Chapter 20 The Flux of Energy through Ecosystems
Chapter 21 The Flux of Matter through Ecosystems
Chapter 22 Ecology in a Changing World
Michael Begon, PhD, is Professor of Ecology in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour at the University of Liverpool. He specialises in the ecology of infectious diseases in wildlife populations, focusing on diseases transmissible to humans.
Colin R. Townsend, is Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Ecology, Conservation and Biodiversity Research Group of Otago University. His research concerns the ecology of invasions and multiple stressors in stream ecosystems.
"It must be said that reviewing this text is both a pleasure and a problem. On the one hand, it's good to see a new edition and work out what has changed since you reviewed the last one; on the other hand, what can you say about a book so widespread that it's made five editions over 30 years to become a staple on all library bookshelves and the go-to text for generations of ecologists? [...] Overall, this is obviously going to continue its dominance in the I market and deservedly so. Its subject coverage is significant and its focus on the reader is to be commended. It sets a new standard, and a high bar, to those seeking to bring ecology to students of all ages."
– Paul Ganderton, The Niche 53(2), summer 2022
"Begon, Townsend and Harper has been the standard advanced textbook in ecology for nearly 20 years. I greatly welcome this fourth edition, which maintains the book's position at the forefront of the discipline."
– Professor Sir John Lawton, Chairman, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, and formerly Chief Executive of the UK Natural Environment Research Council
"Now in its fourth edition, this text will continue to be recognized as a forerunner in the science of ecology; it is very comprehensive, exploring ecological concepts with relevant field and laboratory studies, enriched by clear examples and illustrations."
– Journal of Biological Education
"Begon, Townsend and Harper's Ecology has been the cornerstone text for teaching ecology for almost two decades. Its comprehensive breadth and depth provides details on ecological concepts supplemented with relevant field and laboratory studies. Ecology will remain an essential text for students and practioners alike for many years to come."
– Michael Bonsall, Oxford University
"Ecology: From Individual, to Ecosystems is unparalleled among ecology texts for its breadth of coverage of contemporary ecology and for its clear presentation of even the more complex topics. The coverage of population ecology is superb, and the presentation of all topics is enriched both by extremely clear illustrations and a rich use of examples of human relationships with the environment. It should be read by all aspiring ecologists and the professors who teach them."
– Marcel Holyoak, University of California, Davis