528 pages, Figs, illus, tabs
Taking a functional rather than an ecosystem or a utilitarian approach, Thomas and Packham provide a concise account of the structure of woodlands and forests. Using examples from around the world - from polar treelines to savannahs to tropical rain forests - the authors explain the structure of the soil and the hidden world of the roots; how the main groups of organisms which live within them interact both positively and negatively.
There is particular emphasis on woodland and forest processes, especially those involving the flow and cycling of nutrients, as well as the dynamics of wooded areas, considering how and why they have changed through geological time and continue to do so.
'... good index ... extensive references ... well illustrated ... breadth of material covered in a very readable way. I can see undergraduates finding it very useful as an introduction to key concepts and as a source book for essays.' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society '... the paperback edition could be particularly useful for an introductory course in forest ecology and serve as a reasonably priced, accessible alternative to pricier, more densely packed textbooks ...' Landscape Ecology 'The book is very up-to-date. ... [it] tries to strike a balance. It addresses a more general reader and provides a comprehensive, clear, non-technical introduction to the many facets of forest ecology, but it is also a rich source of information for the expert. ... Undergraduates, foresters, ecologists and land managers should have Ecology of Woodlands and Forests on their bookshelf.' Basic and Applied Ecology '... essential reading for everyone from botany or geosciences who explor[es] the forests ... a comprehensive, detailed, well-thought, and informative synthesis, which will be appreciated by professionals, beginners, and amateurs.' Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaontologie
Preface; 1. Introduction: forest basics; 2. Forest soils, climate and zonation; 3. Primary production and forest development; 4. Reproductive strategies of forest plants; 5. Biotic interactions; 6. Biodiversity in woodlands; 7. Decomposition and renewal; 8. Energy and nutrients; 9. Forest change and disturbance; 10. Working forests; 11. The future - how will our forests change?; References.
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Peter A. Thomas is Senior Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences at Keele University. John R. Packham is Emeritus Professor in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton.