Stanley I. Dodson, Timothy F. H. Allen, Stephen R. Carpenter, Anthony R. Ives, Robert L. Jeanne, James F. Kitchell, Nancy E. Langston, Monica G. Turner
(Oxford University Press, March 26, 1998)
Complex and diverse, modern ecology is often difficult to introduce to undergraduate students in a way that conveys the excitement and enthusiasm that ecologists feel for their field. In this text, the authors aim to encourage students by adopting a new approach to teaching modern ecology, dividing the field into several distinct subdisciplines, each with its own way of looking at the world... Unique and accessible, Ecology concentrates on the ideas and techniques that separate different concept-based approaches to the study of ecology. It discusses six kinds of ecology: landscape, physiological, ecosystem, population, community, and behavioral, focusing on the kinds of questions ecologists ask about their world rather than on accumulated ecological knowledge. For each type of ecology, the authors explore how it is distinct, the theory and technology involved, and its successes and possibilities for the future. Each chapter discusses the roles of evolution and of modeling in that particular kind of ecology, and also emphasizes that there are important questions ecologists do not yet have the answers to. These questions encourage students to consider pursuing the study of ecology because there is still much significant work to be done. The authors, all experts in specific areas of ecology, strive to inspire students by communicating the excitement they feel about their respective fields of study and by actively involving students in the learning process. The discussions are set in the context of the human relationship to nature and include practical applications of ecology, such as resource management and conservation. Easily accessible to undergraduate students in general ecology, this brief, up-to-date, and lucidly written text is an ideal starting place for learning ecology. It sets ecology in its cultural context and encourages students to see ecology happening all around them, opening their eyes to the wide range of possibilities in the field and providing them with a firm basis for further reading and for choosing advanced courses and careers. The text will soon be enhanced by helpful supplemental material: the authors are currently in the process of developing a website (which will include the art from the book, lab and field experiments, data sets, and sample tests) and a book of readings to accompany the text.