Ecology is cross-disciplinary field involving many different aspects of science. Written with this in mind, this book introduces ecological processes, ranging from physical processes, to chemical processes and biological processes. It contains all the necessary information on an ecological process: a clear, detailed but not too lengthy definition, some practical examples, the main mathematical models which have been used to describe the process, the key interconnections with other ecological processes that must be known in order to apply what has been learned from the book.
Table of Contents
PART I – INTRODUCTION. The ecosystem as an object for research. Conservation principles. Energy dissipation. A perspective from information and systems theory. Ecological Processes: An Overview. PART II – PHYSICAL PROCESSES. Space and time. Mass transport. Energetic factors. PART III – CHEMICAL PROCESSES. Chemical reactions. Chemical lysis. Phase partition. PART IV – BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES. Biogeochemical cycles. Photosynthesis. Growth. Primary production. Production of upper trophic levels. Microbial processes. Ecotoxicological Processes. Biological Interactions. PART V – LANDSCAPE PROCESSES. Aquatic ecosystems. Terrestrial Ecosystems. Landscapes and Urban Ecosystems. The Atmosphere. REFERENCES. THE AUTHORS.
Luca Palmeri is a physicist initially specializing in environmental thermodynamics and afterward his curriculum took him through ecological modeling to System Ecology. His research deals with various topics in environmental science and related IT. In particular, he is expert in environmental GIS-based models, models for water resources management and for the assessment of water quality and models for environmental impact assessment. The multidisciplinary nature of his research is reflected by his continuous scientific production in these and other topics in applied environmental science and theoretical ecology. He has been lecturer for more than a decade within the Programme for Master of Science in Environmental Engineering at the University of Padova (Italy), where he teaches several courses: Modelling and Control of Environmental Systems, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Chemical Engineering, Laboratory of Environmental Monitoring and Processes in Treatment Wetlands.
Alberto Barausseis an environmental engineer currently employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Padova (Italy), where he is working as a modeler on the practical implementation of the Ecosystem Approach in Europe’s seas. His current research focus is on the combined effects of multiple human pressures and natural forcing on the functioning of large scale marine ecosystems. More in general, he is interested in both applied and theoretical ecology and environmental science, with a focus on the aquatic environment. His research interests span diverse scientific fields such as marine ecosystem modeling, trophic network analysis, development of indicators of ecosystem status, statistical analysis of long-term ecological time series, models of treatment wetlands functioning, atmospheric dispersion of pollutants, and environmental impact assessment.
Sven Erik Jørgensenis an ecologist and chemist. He currently works for the Royal Danish School of Pharmacy in the department of Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, where he is a professor emeritus. He was awarded together with Professor William J. Mitsch the Stockholm Water Prize in 2004. Sven Erik Jørgensen has authored more than 300 articles, most of which in peer-reviewed journals, and has written or edited more than 50 books, monographs, and compilations of articles.
"... presents an overview of the multi-faceted reality of ecosystems. However, far from being a simple collection of particular aspects of the environment, the book presents a comprehensive vision of ecosystems based on thermodynamics, viewed as a unifying principle which every evolutionary system must obey."
––Stefano Marsili Libelli, Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, Italy
"… the authors take the reader on a comprehensive journey through the key processes that help one understand ecology—particularly for the application of environmental management. … The authors bring many years of expertise and experience to this topic, which is evident in the broad, synthetic treatment of the material. This Handbook would be a valuable resource …"
—Brian D. Fath, Towson University