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Sixth Edition

William Bowman and Sally Hacker

Publication Date - 08 March 2023

ISBN: 9780197614051

744 pages

In Stock

An easy-to-read and well-organized text for instructors and students to explore the basics of ecology.


Ecology is an easy-to-read and well-organized text for instructors and students to explore the basics and promote ecological literacy.

Ecology, sixth edition, introduces readers to the beauty of nature and the importance of ecology and provides content in a way that engages students without overwhelming them in the process. The authors motivate students with an engaging case study conceptual approach that highlights relevant applications and data-driven examples.

Ecology is available with Oxford Insight. Oxford Insight pairs best-in-class OUP content with curated media resources, activities, and gradable assessment, in a guided learning environment that delivers performance analytics, drives student engagement, and improves student outcomes.

New to this Edition

  • Self-assessments for all 59 Interactive figures. And self-assessments for all case study videos for students to gauge their understanding.
  • 10 new Hands-On Problem-Solving Exercises providing practical experience working with experimental data and interpreting results from simulations and models.
  • Updated content to reflect current research and current issues in the field of ecology, such as the impacts of COVID-19 on the volume of bird songs.
  • Substantial update to climate change, including three new Climate Change Connections vignettes.
  • Oxford Insight courseware facilitates students reading and interacting with the core content with fascinating videos, interactive exercises, and formative and summative assessments.


  • Pedagogical Excellence - Students taking their first course in ecology are exposed to a great deal of material. To help them manage this content, each chapter of Ecology is organized around a small number of Key Concepts and Learning Objectives that provide up-to-date summaries of fundamental ecological principles.
  • Links to Ecological Applications - Many students taking introductory ecology are interested in use-inspired aspects of ecology. Thus, ecological applications (including conservation biology) are featured and woven into each chapter.
  • Links to Evolution - Evolution is a central, unifying theme of all biology, and its connections with ecology are strong. Thus, we incorporate evolution throughout the book and make it the focus of some chapters.
  • Case Studies - Each chapter opens with an interesting vignette. By presenting an engaging story or interesting application, the Case Study captures the reader's attention while introducing the topic of the chapter.
  • Connections in Nature - In most ecology textbooks, connections among levels of the ecological hierarchy are discussed briefly, perhaps only in the opening chapter.
  • Climate Change Connections - Recognizing the increasing evidence for and effects of climate change on ecological systems, Climate Change Connection examples are included for each chapter topic of the book.
  • Ecological Inquiry - Our understanding of ecology is constantly changing due to new observations, experiments, and models. All chapters of the book emphasize the active, inquiry-based nature of what is known about ecology. This occurs throughout the narrative and is further highlighted by the quantitative and applied Analyzing Data exercises, Hone Your Problem-Solving Skills exercises, and Figure Legend Questions described later.
  • Analyzing Data Exercises - Our understanding of ecology is constantly changing due to new observations, experiments, and models. Thus, all chapters of the book emphasize active, inquiry-based exercises.
  • Hone Your Problem-Solving Skills - These questions expose students to hypothetical situations or existing data sets in order to help them better understand key ecological concepts and relate them to real-life situations.
  • Figure Legend Questions - Each chapter includes 3-6 Figure Legend Questions that appear in the end of the legend. These questions encourage students to grapple with the concepts of the figure to increase learning comprehension. The questions range from testing whether students understand the axes or other simple aspects of the figure to asking students to develop or evaluate hypotheses.
  • Ecological Toolkits - Nearly half of the chapters include an Ecological Toolkit, a box inset in the chapters that describes ecological "tools" such as experimental design, remote sensing, mark - recapture techniques, stable isotope analysis, DNA fingerprinting, or calculating of species - area curves.
  • Hand's On Problems - These online exercises ask students to manipulate data, explore mathematical aspects of ecology in more detail, interpret results from real experiments, and analyze simple model systems using simulations.
  • Robust ancillary program for students and instructors.
  • Data Analysis - All chapters include active, inquiry-based exercises that give students extra practice with essential quantitative skills, such as designing experiments, performing calculations, making graphs, and interpreting results
  • Figure and Lecture Note PPTs are presentations for course instruction with high-resolution images from the text, enabling instructors and/or lecturers to spend less time preparing class materials and more time with students.
  • Test Bank includes over 1,500 questions covering key facts and concepts in each chapter with multiple-choice and short-answer questions included. Questions are categorized by Bloom’s level and are also aligned with the textbook’s Learning Objectives.
  • Online Climate Change Connections explore the links between ecological concepts and climate change.
  • Web Extensions expand on the coverage of selected topics introduced in the textbook.
  • Web Stats Review is a brief statistics primer for ecology.

About the Author(s)

William D. Bowman is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder, affiliated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Mountain Research Station, and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. He earned his Ph.D. from Duke University. Dr. Bowman has taught courses in introductory ecology, plant ecology, plant-soil interactions, and ecosystems ecology, and for over three decades he directed undergraduate summer field courses and research programs. His research focuses on the intersections of physiological ecology, community dynamics, and ecosystem function, particularly in the context of environmental change.

Sally D. Hacker is a Professor at Oregon State University, Corvallis, where she has been a faculty member since 2004. She has taught courses in introductory ecology, community ecology, and marine biology. She is particularly interested in promoting active and experiential learning for students interested in ecology and field experiences. Dr. Hacker's research explores the structure, function, and services of natural and managed ecosystems under varying contexts of species interactions and global change. She has conducted research with plants and animals in rocky intertidal, estuarine, and coastal dune ecosystems. Her work has most recently focused on the protective role of coastal ecosystems in mitigating the vulnerability from climate change.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 The Web of Life

    Unit 1 Organisms and Their Environment
    Chapter 2 The Physical Environment
    Chapter 3 The Biosphere
    Chapter 4 Coping with Environmental Variation: Temperature and Water
    Chapter 5 Coping with Environmental Variation: Energy

    Unit 2 Evolutionary Ecology
    Chapter 6 Evolution and Ecology
    Chapter 7 Life History
    Chapter 8 Behavioral Ecology

    Unit 3 Populations
    Chapter 9 Population Distribution and Abundance
    Chapter 10 Population Dynamics
    Chapter 11 Population Growth and Regulation

    Unit 4 Species Interactions
    Chapter 12 Predation
    Chapter 13 Parasitism
    Chapter 14 Competition
    Chapter 15 Mutualism and Commensalism

    Unit 5 Communities
    Chapter 16 The Nature of Communities
    Chapter 17 Change in Communities
    Chapter 18 Biogeography
    Chapter 19 Species Diversity in Communities

    Unit 6 Ecosystems
    Chapter 20 Production
    Chapter 21 Energy Flow and Food Webs
    Chapter 22 Nutrient Supply and Cycling

    Unit 7 Applied and Large-Scale Ecology
    Chapter 23 Conservation Biology
    Chapter 24 Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Management
    Chapter 25 Global Ecology

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