Books  Ecological & Biological Sciences  Ecological Theory and Practice 

Towards a Thermodynamic Theory for Ecological Systems

Edited By: Sven E Jorgensen and Yuri Svirezhev

366 pages, Figs, tabs

Pergamon Press

Paperback | Dec 2004 | #147387 | ISBN: 008044167X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £95.99 $127/€108 approx
Hardback | Jul 2004 | #147388 | ISBN: 0080441661
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £155.00 $205/€174 approx

About this book

Presents a consistent and complete ecosystem theory based on thermodynamic concepts. The first chapters are devoted to an interpretation of the first and second law of thermodynamics in an ecosystem context. Then Prigogine's use of the far from equilibrium thermodynamic is used to explain the reactions of ecosystems to perturbations. The introduction of the concept of exergy makes it possible to give a more comprehensive explanation of ecosystem reactions and growth patterns. The trophic chain, global energy and radiation balance and pattern and the reactions of ecological networks are all explained by the use of exergy. Finally, there is a discussion of how the theory can be applied more widely to explain ecological observations, to assess ecosystem health and to develop ecosystem models.

it was a pleasure to read it and appreciate new concepts and ideas. ...that publishing houses are giving enough space to bringing multidisciplinary areas to the attention of readers, excellent example being the book reviewed. JOURNAL OF THERMAL ANALYSIS AND CALORIMETRY, 2005 E. Tiezzi The post-scriptum is an excellent summary of the laws of the ecosystem theory. The book is highly recommendable to all scientists and young researchers interested in the new scientific paradigm of evolutionary thermodynamics. Ecological Modelling, 2005


1. Thermodynamics as a method: A problem of statistical description. 2. The laws of classical thermodynamics and their application to ecology. 3. Second and third law of thermodynamics in open systems. 4. Entropy, probability and information. 5. Work, exergy and information. 6. Stability in mathematics, thermodynamics and ecology. 7. Models of ecosystems: Thermodynamic basis and methods. I. Trophic chains. 8. Models of ecosystems: Thermodynamics basis and methods. II. Competition and trophic level. 9. Thermodynamics of ecological networks. 10. Thermodynamics of vegetation. 11. Thermodynamics of the biosphere. 12. Teleology and extreme principles. A tentative fourth law of thermodynamics. 13. Application of exergy as ecological indicator and goal function in ecological modelling.

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