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Functional Ecology of Woodlands and Forests

By: JR Packham, DJL Harding, GM Hilton and RA Studdard

408 pages, B/w photos & illus, figs, tabs

Chapman & Hall

Paperback | Dec 1992 | #16983 | ISBN: 0412439506
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £139.99 $184/€159 approx
Hardback | Dec 1992 | #16982 | ISBN: 0412443902
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £199.99 $262/€228 approx

About this book

An updated and expanded version of Packham and Harding's earlier course text, Ecology of Woodland Processes published in 1982. It is firmly based on the factors which govern the composition of woodland communities, but goes on to explore the dynamics of interactions between various ecosystem components.

'Very readable ... recommendable to a wide audience.' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 'I found the book to be a good introductory overview of these ecosystems. As a university professor who teaches classes in plant ecology, I found the book to be equally good as a textbook.' The Quarterly Review of Biology 'This is quite the best forestry textbook that has been published for a long time. Its comprehensive yet concise treatment of all aspects of woodland ecology is stimulating to read...Despite being a comprehensive textbook full of information, it is clearly written with an excellent economy of words. Unlike many multi-author books, it is a truly joint work with the presentations consistent throughout so that one has no sense of different writers...Diverse examples of relevant worldwide research findings are skilfully drawn together...if the book is used merely for has a place on every woodland manager's bookshelf...' Tree News 'A highly readable and informative volume which presents a broad view of forest dynamics...particularly useful to students beginning to study ecology, forestry or environmental science...this book succeeds in providing a comprehensive overview of forest and woodland structure and function.' Forest Ecology and Management 'The layout, printing, and figures in the book are excellent...the greatest strength of the book is its richness of examples, case studies, and natural history details...Refreshingly, many of the examples in the book are from the authors' own studies and experiences, and these cases are conveyed with the depth possible only with such inside knowledge.' Plant Science Bulletin 'The book is a useful introduction ... and will serve to stimulate the interests of students.' Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society


Part 1 Introduction: ecology and trees; the spatial framework and the changing seasons; woodland ecosystems; tropical forests - the primary complexity; forest biome types; threats to the forest; silviculture and the replacement of trees. Part 2 Primary production - the autotrophs: plant life forms; biological spectra; processes of primary production and the light climate; sun and shade plants; woodland hydrology and the water relations of forest plants; evergreen and deciduous strategies. Part 3 Reproductive strategies of woodland plants: plant strategies; reproduction and fruiting; masting; influence of animals; seasonal changes and aspect societies. Part 4 Soils, climate and zonation: soils and trees; roots, foraging and competition; zonation - distribution in space; altitudinal changes and alpine timberlines; diversity in communities of woodland plants. Part 5 Forest change: succession, cyclic change and gap regeneration; the changing mosaic - a comprehensive theory of forest maintenance; patch dynamics and regeneration waves; forest change and woodlands; succession on Krakatau - the natural experiments; origins of British woodlands and their floras; the ecology of coppicing. Part 6 The herbivore subsystems and the exploitation of living autotrophs: the role of heterotrophs in woodland ecosystems; epiphytic micro-organisms; forest pathogens; Dutch elm disease; exotic forest pests; woodland herbivores; influence of defoliation on trees; the importance of woodland carnivores. Part 7 Community change and stability: population stability - selection and strategy; population fluctuation - key-factor analysis; regulation; dynamics of specific woodland animals; changes in community structure; diversity and stability. Part 8 Decomposition and renewal: the vital key; decomposition - resources and processes; degradative successions; diverse detritivores; relative roles of agents of decay. Part 9 Energy and nutrients: taking stock of woodlands; biomass and productivity of autotrophs; secondary producers - the herbivore subsystem; the decomposition subsystem; energy flow through woodland ecosystems; nutrient cycling in temperate, boreal and tropical woodlands; the influence of man. Part 10 Working forests: resource potential and forest products; multipurpose forests; genetics, choice of species and tree breeding; growth, thinning and economic factors; woodland maintenance and cropping; fire hazard and management tool; agroforestry. Part 11 Contemporary problems and the future of forests: vanishing forests - desertification and climatic change; forest declines and acid rain; arboriculture and urban forests; farm forestry; conservation and habitat creation in planted woodlands.

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