An increasing amount of usable space on our planet is crowded by humans. Whether we are using the space for permanent homes, vacation homes, travel accommodations, farming, public recreation, transportation, or office buildings, our chronic overuse of Earth's resources is pushing our ecosystem into uncharted territories. This has spurred many species extinctions, and we can expect the losses to continue to grow.
Ecology of a Changed World outlines the importance of species conservation relative to human existence. The book breaks down ecological principles and explains six threats to biodiversity in terms anyone studying ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental science, or environmental justice will understand. Ecologist Trevor Price begins the book by breaking down population growth, food webs, species interaction, and other ecological principles. He draws on examples from agriculture, disease, fisheries, and societal growth throughout each chapter, offering insight into the relationships between demographic transitions, monetary exchanges, and ecosystems.
Price focuses on six threats to biodiversity – climate change, overharvesting, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and disease – and offers the history, current status, and economic as well as environmental impacts of each of these. He ends the book with a rigorous review of the importance of species diversity, outlining the ways losses to our ecosystem will be a detriment to public health and global wealth.
Taking readers through competition, predation, and parasitism, Ecology of a Changed World helpfully traces what has occurred on our planet throughout history, why these things happened, and how we can use this information to determine and shape our future.
Chapter 1. The Changed World
Chapter 2. Population Growth
Chapter 3. Population Regulation
Chapter 4. Interactions between Species: Competition
Chapter 5. Predation and Food Webs
Chapter 6. Parasites and Pathogens
Chapter 7. Evolution and Disease
Chapter 8. The Human Food Supply: Competition, Predation, and Parasitism
Chapter 9. Food Security
Chapter 10. Prediction
Chapter 11. Human Population Growth
Chapter 12. Growth of Wealth and Urbanization
Chapter 13. Habitat Conversion
Chapter 14. Economics of Habitat Conversion
Chapter 15. Climate Crisis: History
Chapter 16. Predictions of Future Climate and Its Effects
Chapter 17. Pollution
Chapter 18. Invasive Species
Chapter 19. Introduced Disease
Chapter 20. Harvesting on Land
Chapter 21. Harvesting in the Ocean
Chapter 22. Harvesting: Prospects
Chapter 23. Species
Chapter 24. Population Declines
Chapter 25. Extinction
Chapter 26. Species across Space
Chapter 27. Island Biogeography and Reserve Design
Chapter 28. Value of Species
Appendix A. Estimation and Uncertainty
Appendix B. Derivations
Trevor Price is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He earned a PhD in ecology from the University of Michigan and spent seventeen years on the faculty at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Speciation in Birds (2007).