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Academic & Professional Books  Ecology  Ecological Theory & Practice

Theoretical Ecology Concepts and Applications

By: Kevin S McCann(Editor), Gabriel Gellner(Editor), Robert D Holt(Foreword By)
303 pages, colour & b/w illustrations
Building on the previous three editions that were co-edited by Robert M. May, this theoretical ecology textbook reinterprets historical ideas and presents novel theories.
Theoretical Ecology
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  • Theoretical Ecology ISBN: 9780198824299 Edition: 4 Paperback May 2020 In stock
  • Theoretical Ecology ISBN: 9780198824282 Edition: 4 Hardback May 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Theoretical Ecology: Concepts and Applications continues the authoritative and established sequence of theoretical ecology books initiated by Robert M. May which helped pave the way for ecology to become a more robust theoretical science, encouraging the modern biologist to better understand the mathematics behind their theories. This latest instalment builds on the legacy of its predecessors with a completely new set of contributions. Rather than placing emphasis on the historical ideas in theoretical ecology, the editors have encouraged each contribution to: synthesize historical theoretical ideas within modern frameworks that have emerged in the last 10-20 years (e.g. bridging population interactions to whole food webs); describe novel theory that has emerged in the last 20 years from historical empirical areas (e.g. macro-ecology); and finally to cover the rapidly expanding area of theoretical ecological applications (e.g. disease theory and global change theory). The result is a forward-looking synthesis that will help guide the field through a further decade of discovery and development.

It is written for upper-level undergraduate students, graduate students, and researchers seeking synthesis and the state of the art in growing areas of interest in theoretical ecology, genetics, evolutionary ecology, and mathematical biology.


1: Introduction, Gabriel Gellner, Kevin S. McCann & Emily J. Champagne
2: Species coexistence, Peter Chesson
3: The synergistic effects of interaction strength and lags on ecological stability, Gabriel Gellner, Kevin S. McCann & Christopher Greyson-Gaito
4: Non-equilibrium dynamics and stochastic processes, Karen C. Abbott
5: The impact of population structure on population and community dynamics, André M. de Roos
6: Models for large ecological communities - a random matrix approach, Stefano Allesina & Jacopo Grilli
7: A structural theory of mutualistic networks, Jordi Bascompte & Antonio Ferrera
8: A data driven approach to complex ecological systems, Michio Kondoh, Kazutaka Kawatsu, Yutaka Osada & Masayuki Ushio
9: Trait-based models of complex ecological networks, Ulrich Brose
10: Ecological networks: from structure to dynamics, Sonia Kéfi
11: Trait-based ecological and eco-evolutionary theory, Christopher A. Klausmeier, Colin T. Kremer & Thomas Koffel
12: Toward a general theory of metacommunity ecology, Dominique Gravel & François Massol
13: Theories of diversity in disease ecology, T. Alex Perkins & Jason R. Rohr
14: Climate change: Studying the effects of temperature on population and community dynamics, David A. Vasseur
15: Alternative stable states, tipping points, and early warning signals of ecological transitions, John M. Drake, Suzanne M. O'Regan, Vasilis Dakos, Sonia Kéfi & Pejman Rohani
16: Areas of current and future growth, Kevin S. McCann & Gabriel Gellner

Customer Reviews


Kevin McCann joined the faculty at the University of Guelph in 2003 as a Canadian Research Chair in Biodiversity after starting his career at McGill University in 1999. McCann is a leading theoretical ecologist with an expertise in food webs. McCann combines theoretical ecology with experimental and empirical work across aquatic ecosystems (lakes, rivers and coastal marine ecosystems). His research seeks to examine the biological structure underlying diversity and the critical relationship between this structure, ecosystem function and stability. In 2013, McCann was elected lifetime fellow to the Ecological Society of America for research achievements.

Gabriel Gellner is a researcher at the University of Guelph, having completed his PhD in 2014. Gellner is a theoretical ecologist with wide-ranging interests in food webs, mathematical and computational methods, and disease ecology. Gellner has worked with leading scientists in North America (University of Guelph, UC Davis, Colorado State, USDA) and internationally (Japan, Brazil, UK). His work looks at how complex networks can be decomposed into fundamental dynamic subsystems from a conceptual and methodological perspective.

- Karen C. Abbott, Case Western Reserve University, USA
- Stefano Allesina, University of Chicago, USA
- Jordi Bascomptey, University of Zurich, Switzerland
- Ulrich Brose, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Resarch (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany
- Emily J. Champagne, University of Guelph, Canada
- Peter Chesson, University of Arizona, USA
- Vasilis Dakos, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, France
- John M. Drake, University of Georgia, USA
- Antonio Ferrera, University of Zurich, Switzerland
- Gabriel Gellner, University of Guelph, Canada
- Dominique Gravel, University of Sherbrooke, Canada
- Christopher Greyson-Gaito, University of Guelph, Canada
- Jacopo Grilli, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy
- Robert D. Holt, University of Florida, USA
- Sonia Kéfi, CNRS, France
- Christopher A. Klausmeier, Michigan State University, USA
- Thomas Koffel, Michigan State University, USA
- Michio Kondoh, Tohoku University, Japan
- Colin T. Kremer, Michigan State University, USA
- François Massol, University of Lille, France
- Kevin S. McCann, University of Guelph, Canada
- Suzanne M. O'Regan, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, USA
- Alex Perkins, University of Notre Dame, USA
- Pejman Rohani, University of Georgia, USA
- Jason R. Rohr, University of Notre Dame, USA
- André M. de Roos, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- David A. Vasseur, Yale University, USA

By: Kevin S McCann(Editor), Gabriel Gellner(Editor), Robert D Holt(Foreword By)
303 pages, colour & b/w illustrations
Building on the previous three editions that were co-edited by Robert M. May, this theoretical ecology textbook reinterprets historical ideas and presents novel theories.
Media reviews

"Although the title gives us no clue, what we are reading is the fourth edition of a series started by the late Robert May in 1976. [...] However, this is no mere updating with new editors and contributors but a volume, following some (but not all) of the original ideas, making explicit the areas it seeks to include and exclude. Not so much an upgrade as a descendant, albeit with a proud lineage. [...] Whereas the exposition of the basic ideas seen here should be a useful guide to all studying and practising ecology in all its forms, it remains a text focussed on advanced studies and research. In such a setting it provides a stimulating overview of the current field and points the way towards future fruitful research areas. In an age of increasing collaboration between sub-disciplines, this book allows workers in disparate fields to see where others' ideas might be constructively utilized"
– Paul Ganderton, The Niche, summer 2021

Review of the third edition:

"I would recommend this book to those seeking an overview of modern theoretical ecology and those seeking an easy access point to any one of the main topics covered."
British Ecological Society Bulletin 2008 39:1

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