Plant Disturbance Ecology: The Process and the Response, second edition, is fully updated and clearly presents how scientists can use a multitude of approaches in plant disturbance ecology. Chapters on fire and beavers from the previous edition were combined into more extensive and inclusive chapters covering disturbance. There are new chapters on windstorms, droughts, and tree uprooting. All chapters from the first edition have been updated to include the latest research. Edited and written by leading experts in the field, this second edition is an essential resource for scientists interested in understanding plant disturbance and ecological processes.
Disturbance ecology is still an active area of research and there have been many advances in new areas. One emerging direction in disturbance studies is the increased coupling of physical and ecological processes, and not just their forcing. Disturbances are increasingly traced back further in space and time to mechanisms that are causing the disturbances themselves (e.g., earth surface processes and mesoscale and larger meteorological processes), and the ecological effects being studied are becoming more physiological.
Edward A. Johnson is a Professor of Biological Sciences Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Calgary, Canada and up until June 2018, he was also the Director of the Biogeoscience Institute. His research interests are wildfires, avalanches, hillslope and fluvial geomorphic processes, climate, land use, and other processes as they affect tree populations. He is particularly interested in the explicit coupling of the physical processes to ecological processes. He has over 114 publications and 4,693 total citations.
Kiyoko Miyanishi is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph, having retired in 2005. She has edited 2 books, written 11 book chapters and has over 30 publications and 1,200 citations.
Review of the first edition:
"The process by which vegetation changes over time has fascinated plant ecologists for at least a century. Early theories emphasized slow, steady change to a hypothetical stable climax" community. By the 1970s, ecologists began to realize that disturbance was the rule, not the exception, and a rather radical shift in thinking about vegetation took hold. This multidisciplinary compendium seeks to move what might be called disturbance science beyond descriptive approaches to look at how particular physical disturbances actually cause particular ecological effects. The many authors cover, e.g., the specifics of how forces like wind (turbulence, microbursts, etc.) can physically cause stem breakage in trees. Other modes of disturbance treated here include ice storm damage to forests and trees; dynamic processes that affect coastal dunes; fluvial processes related to riparian tree growth; the effects of water-level changes in ponds and lakes; heating effects on vegetation; fire's effects on grasslands and trees; a variety of insect impacts on different systems; and the impact of beavers on woody vegetation. The level of technical detail in the chapters varies greatly, and a few rely heavily on mathematical formulas. Other chapters are essentially literature reviews. Plant ecologists with a process- or mechanistically oriented approach to understanding vegetation change will appreciate this book. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above."