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About this book
About this book
The increasing interest in recent years in vegetation history, long term climatic changes and the development of biotic communities has resulted in a substantial growth in the literature and has provided an incentive for scientists to use paleoecology concepts to clarify contemporary ecological issues. The authors examine the validity of space for time substitution in studies of plant succession, the individualistic nature of species migrations and invasions of pre-existing communities following major environmental change, and the applications of Quaternary ecology to predicting biotic responses to future global climatic change.
Part 1 The palaeo-ecological perspective: ecological and evolutionary time scales; research design; principles of palaeo-ecological reconstruction; hierarchical relationships. Part 2 Dispersal, invasion, expansion and migrational strategies of populations: issues; dispersal; invasion; expansion of populations; migrational strategies. Part 3 Plant succession: issues; primary succession on glacial moraines; hydrosere succession; unidirectional successional changes; cycles of secondary succession; anthropogenic influences. Part 4 Gradients, continua and ecotones: issues; gradient analysis and the continuum concept; ecotones and ecoclines; community disassembly and reassembly. Part 5 Factors structuring communities: issues; climate and climatic change; climatic modulation of disturbance regimes; soil development, substrate control and geomorphic processes; biological interactions. Part 6 Ecosystem patterns and processes: issues; cycles of ecosystem development; hubbard brook/mirror lake watershed; natural and anthropogenic ecosystem changes in Switzerland; Mayan impact on watersheds in the Peten; palaeolimnological record of lake eutrophication, paludification and acidification; extinct ecosystems - the pleistocene Arctic steppe-tundra hypothesis. Part 7 Application of quaternary ecology to future global change: issues; global climatic change and the greenhouse effect; past analogues for effects of future global warming; carbon balance of Alaskan tundra and taiga ecosystems; computer simulations of long-term changes in forest composition and biomass; nature preserves and conservation of biological diversity.