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This multi-author book deals with `resource ecology', which is the ecology of trophic interactions between consumers and their resources. Resource ecology is perhaps the most central part of ecology. In its linkage between foraging theory and spatial ecology, it shows how old and fundamental questions can be tackled afresh. It addresses crucial aspects of the interactions between consumers and resources. Foraging is the central process in resource ecology because it leads to growth, survival and reproduction of the animal. Resource ecology forms the basis for comprehending the functioning of multi-species assemblages, and is thus key to grasp the organisation of biodiversity.
All chapters in the book were prepared for a small symposium and were circulated in advance to the participants. They were subjected to intense group discussions; comments and critiques were subsequently used for writing new versions, which were peer-reviewed. For the purposes of stimulating future research, each chapter ends with two or three testable hypotheses. Each chapter is followed by a comment. This makes the book ideal for teaching and course work, because it highlights the fact that ecology is a living and active research field.
Preface.- 1.Introduction on resource ecology;Frank van Langevelde and Herbert H.T. Prins.- 2A. Mechanisms determining large-herbivore distribution;Derek W. Bailey and Frederick D. Provenza.- 2B. Comments on "Mechanisms determining large-herbivore distribution";Sipke E. van Wieren, Michael Drescher and Willem F. de Boer.- 3A. Spatial statistics to quantify patterns of herd dispersion in a savanna herbivore community;Alfred Stein and Nicholas Georgiadis.- 3B. Comments on "Spatial statistics to quantify patterns of herd dispersion in a savanna herbivore community";Herbert H.T. Prins, Sipke E. van Wieren and Arend M.H. Brunsting.- 4A. Resource distribution and dynamics: mapping herbivore resources;Andrew K. Skidmore and Jelle G. Ferwerda.- 4B. Comments on "Resource distribution and dynamics:mapping herbivore resources";Herbert H.T. Prins, Willem F. de Boer and Frank van Langevelde.- 5A. Foraging in a heterogeneous environment: intake and diet choice;Emilio A. Laca.- 5B. Comments on "Foraging in a heterogeneous environment:intake and diet choice";Michael Drescher, Herbert H.T. Prins and Arend M.H. Brunsting.- 6A. Predictive modelling of patch use by terrestrial herbivores;John M. Fryxell.- 6B. Comments on "Predictive modelling of patch use by terrestrial herbivores";Ignas M.A. Heitkonig, Michael Drescherand Willem F. de Boer.- 7A. Assembling a diet from different places;Herbert H.T. Prins and Frank van Langevelde.- 7B. Comments on "Assembling a diet from different places";Iain J. Gordon.- 8A. Effects of temporal variability in resources on foraging behaviour;Norman Owen-Smith.- 8B. Comments on "Effects of temporal variability in resources on foraging behaviour";Willem F. de Boer and Arend M.H. Brunsting.- 9A. Large-scale movements of large herbivores: livestock following changes in seasonal forage supply;Randall B. Boone, Shauna B. BurnSilver, Jeffrey S. Worden,Kathleen A. Galvin and N. Thompson Hobbs.- 9B. Comments on "Large-scale movements of large herbivores:livestock following changes in seasonal forage supply";Willem F. de Boer, Thomas A. Groen, Ignas M.A. Heitkonig and Koen Kramer.- 10A. Relevance of key resource areas for large-scale movements of livestock;Paul Scholte and Joost Brouwer.- 10B. Comments on "Relevance of key resource areas for largescale movements of livestock";Herbert H.T. Prins, Arend M.H. Brunsting and Frank van Langevelde.- 11A. Structuring herbivore communities: the role of habitat and diet;Sipke E. van Wieren and Frank van Langevelde.- 11B. Comments on "Structuring herbivore communities: the role of habitat and diet";Herbert H.T. Prins, Arend M.H. Brunsting and Willem F. de Boer.- 12. Prospects for further development of resource ecology;Herbert H.T. Prins and Frank van Langevelde.- List of references.- List of contributors
From the reviews: "The book presents a very readable account of the current state of play across the broad range of herbivore resource ecology: diet selection and intake at local, patch and landscape scales. ! I would certainly recommend this book to researchers, undergraduate and graduate reading groups, because the contents provide plenty of food for thought and debate. Conveniently, the chapters can be viewed individually at the website." (Andrew Illius, African Journal of Range & Forage Science, Vol. 27 (1), 2010)