Books  Ecology  Ecological Theory and Practice 

Nonlinear Physics of Ecosystems

  • Provides a detailed overview of pattern formation theory as applied to spatial aspects of landscape, community, and ecosystem ecology
  • Covers developments in nonlinear theory and their relevance to problems at the forefront of ecological research
  • Offers basic background in spatial self-organization, desertification, biodiversity loss, and modeling approaches
  • Discusses analytic approaches to pattern formation, mechanisms of pattern formation, and external modulations of pattern forming systems
  • Covers state-of-the-art applications in ecology research

By: Ehud Meron(Author)

365 pages, 146 b/w illustrations, 2 tables

CRC Press

Hardback | May 2015 | #220423 | ISBN-13: 9781439826317
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £57.99 $81/€66 approx

About this book

Providing an integrative treatment of nonlinear physics and applications in ecology, this text introduces the basic concepts, tools, and applications to important problems in ecology. It exposes readers to the new emerging research field that integrates pattern formation and spatial ecology. Nonlinear Physics of Ecosystems supplies a detailed overview of pattern formation theory as applied to spatial aspects of landscape, community, and ecosystem ecology. The author also covers state-of-the-art applications in ecology research, from modeling water-limited plant communities to studies in biodiversity, resource patterns, and ecosystem engineering.



Spatial Self-Organization

Natural and laboratory realizations of pattern formation
Spatial patterns as nonlinear symmetry breaking phenomena
Universality of patterns

Outstanding Problems in Spatial Ecology
Biodiversity loss
The relevance of pattern formation theory

Modeling Approaches
Discrete models: coupled map lattices, cellular automata, and individual-based models
Continuum models: first-principle models, phenomenological models
Context-specific vs. problem-specific modeling

Analytical Methods

Two canonical models of pattern formation
Dimensional analysis
Linear stability analysis
Normal-form equations
Phase equations
Singular perturbation theory

Basic Mechanisms of Pattern Formation
Symmetry breaking instabilities of uniform states
Bi-stability of uniform states
Excitability of a uniform state
Localized structures

External modulations of pattern forming systems
Temporal and spatial resonances in periodically forced systems
Pattern forming instabilities induced by periodic forcing

Modeling water-limited plant communities

Why study water-limited plant communities?
Basic feedbacks and scope of modeling
Resource-implicit models
Resource-explicit models

Vegetation Pattern Formation
Vegetation patterns along environmental gradients
Localized vegetation structures: spots, rings, and crescents
Periodic vs. scale-free patterns
Desertification as a hysteresis phenomenon
Vegetation restoration by external landscapes modulations

Resource Patterns and Ecosystem Engineering
Plants as ecosystem engineers
Modeling woody-herbaceous systems
Transitions from interspecific competition to facilitation

Biodiversity of Plant Communities
Derivation of community-level properties
Diversity-productivity relations in pattern forming communities
Spatial species-diversity patterns

Other Pattern Forming Ecosystems
Nutrient-limited systems

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Ehud Meron is a professor of physics and environmental sciences at Ben-Gurion University.

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