420 pages, diagrams
Positive interactions and interdependence in plant communities offers a new look at an old problem - the nature of the communities. This book marshals ecological literature from the last century on facilitation to make the case against the widely accepted "individualistic" notion of community organization. Clearly, many species in many communities would not be present without the ameliorating effects of other species. In other words, communities are not produced only by summing the population ecology of species. Concepts covered include the idea that positive interactions are more prevalent in physically stressful conditions, species specificity in facilitative interactions, indirect facilitative interactions, how facilitation contributes to diversity-ecosystem function relationships, and potential evolutionary aspects of positive interactions.
From the reviews: "In many ways, this book is a tour-de-force. In its 415 pages, it has 176 devoted to references. These cover almost a century of work on interactions between plants in communities, an area in which the author has wide experience. ! The text is clearly written with plenty of diagrams, mostly taken from the literature. ! I recommend this book for its timely assessment of the history and progress in the study on plant interactions within communities and a great introduction to the literature." (British Ecological Society, March, 2008) "Callaway writes clearly on the subject of positive interactions, with humor and authority. ! this book is well written, and the images (taken primarily from the published studies) are clear and effective in highlighting the main points. ! Overall, I find this book to be a valuable addition to my bookcase. The extensive references provide a wonderful entry point for anyone who wants to learn more about positive interactions." (James F. Cahill, Ecology, Vol. 89 (6), 2008) "Positive Interactions and Interdependence in Plant Communities is very readable and interesting ! . the book is a detailed, comprehensive treatise on positive interactions in plant communities that will be of particular interest not only to plant ecologists but also to those ecologists involved with environmental restoration and management. Callaway's book is a fabulous resource and it contains much food for thought and lively discussion." (Scott L. Collins, BioScience, Vol. 59 (5), May, 2009) "In this book, Ragan Callaway argues persuasively that ecologists have vastly underestimated the influence of facilitation and positive interactions among species in plant communities. ! We read this book as part of a graduate-level seminar course ! . the target audience for this book should be narrowed to scientists primarily interested in pursuing facilitation-oriented research or to community ecologists who are firmly rooted in the dogma of competition as the driving force in communities." (Plant Science Bulletin, Vol. 55 (3), 2009)
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