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An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology

Ted J. Case

Publication Date - October 1999

ISBN: 9780195085129

464 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock


An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology uses a combination of visual presentations and the symbolic logic of algebra and calculus to provide the most accessible introduction to ecological theory available. It gives students the basic tools they need to understand the complexities of ecological systems and to analyze simple quantitative ecological problems. The author walks students through the most common models in ecology, beginning with first principles and then gently making each formulation accessible through a step-by-step development of equations paired with lavish illustrations. He also applies theoretical developments to practical issues in conservation and resource management, offering a more visceral understanding of the purpose and utility of the theory and demonstrating how it may need modification in its application to real-world problems and future directions. The text also includes some basic ecological genetics and an exploration of metapopulation dynamics.
An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology is enhanced by over 500 two-color diagrams, many end-of-chapter problems, and a website that includes simulation models that parallel each chapters development (http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/BookCase). Ideal as a main text for advanced undergraduate courses in theoretical and mathematical ecology or conservation biology, this unique book can also serve as a supplement or a self-guided tutorial in general ecology, population ecology, and community ecology courses.

Table of Contents

    1c Preface
    PART I: Population Ecology
    1. Exponential and Geometric Population Growth
    2. Spatial, Temporal, and Individual Variation in Birth and Death Rates
    3. Population Growth with Age or Stage Structure
    4. Demographic Relationships
    5. Density-Dependent Population Growth
    6. Population Regulation, Limiting Factors, and Temporal Variability
    7. Life History Trade-Offs
    8. Reproductive Value and the Evolutionary Theory of Aging
    9. Density-Dependent Selection on Life History Traits
    PART II: Species Interactions and Community Ecology
    10. Exploited Resources
    11. The Mechanics of Predation
    12. Predator-Prey Systems: Predator Dynamics and Effects on Prey
    13. Stability of Predator-Prey Systems: Analytical Methods (Advanced)
    14. Competitors
    15. Multi-species Communities
    16. Space, Islands, and Metapopulations
    PART III: Appendices
    Appendix 1: PREPARATION, PART 1: Visualizing Equations
    PREPARATION, PART 2: Terms and Methods of Model Building in Population Biology
    Appendix 2: Some Matrix Operations
    Appendix 3: Solving for Equilibrium Points in Dynamical Systems, the Inverse of a Square Matrix, and Some Useful Facts from Linear Algebra
    Appendix 4: Some Useful Mathematical Identities and Approximations
    Appendix 5: Calculus
    Appendix 6: Functions of Random Variables
    Literature Cited

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