In examining both theory and applications, this book, through useful examples, provides a stimulating introduction to ecosystems. It examines the nature, types and characteristics of ecosystems as well as investigating the interactions between various systems and human actions.
Using functional ecology as the basis for applying the ecosystem concept in contemporary environmental science and ecology, this second edition of this highly successful volume has been updated to reflect the latest research. It incorporates a strengthened theme in the use of functional ecology in explaining how ecosystems work and how the ecosystem concept may be used in science and applied science, and coverage of the interactions between humans and ecosystems has been substantially bolstered with the addition of chapters on human impacts and large scale impacts on ecosystems, and global environmental change and the consequences for ecosystems.
Presented in a student-friendly format, this book features boxed definitions, examples, case studies, summary points, discussion questions and annotated further reading lists. It provides a concise and accessible synthesis of both ecosystem theory and its applications, and will be a valuable resource for students of environmental studies, ecology and geography.
'Ecosystems makes for excellent reading. It would be extremely useful for students of biogeography and environmental management.' - Geography
'Ecosystems provides a comprehensive introduction to the understanding of the concept of the ecosystem and its unifying position between ecology and environmenal science … an apposite text for students in tertiary education.' - Environmental Education and Information
1. The Nature of Ecosystems 2. How Ecosystems Work: Operational and Support Functions 3. Energy Flow and Energetics 4. Material Cycles in Ecosystems 5. Ecosystems in High Stress Environments: Meeting Environmental Challenges 6. The Role of Disturbance and Succession in Ecosystem Functioning 7. Life in a Crowd: Productive and Intermediate Ecosystems 8. Biomes: World Ecosystem Types 9. Human Impacts on Ecosystems: Humans as an Ecological Factor 10. Large Scale Impacts on Ecosystems 11. Global Environmental Change: Ecosystem Response and Biosphere Impacts