Joshua Weitz addresses three major questions: What are viruses of microbes and what do they do to their hosts? How do interactions of a single virus-host pair affect the number and traits of hosts and virus populations? How do virus-host dynamics emerge in natural environments when interactions take place between many viruses and many hosts? Emphasizing how theory and models can provide answers, Weitz offers a cohesive framework for tackling new challenges in the study of viruses and microbes and how they are connected to ecological processes—from the laboratory to the Earth system.
Quantitative Viral Ecology is an innovative exploration of the influence of viruses in our complex natural world.
Hunter introduces the concept of the "phytochemical landscape"—the shifting spatial and temporal mosaic of plant chemistry that serves as the nexus between trophic interactions and nutrient dynamics. He shows how plant chemistry is both a cause and consequence of trophic interactions, and how it also mediates ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling. Nutrients and organic molecules in plant tissues affect decomposition rates and the fluxes of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The availability of these same nutrients influences the chemistry of cells and tissues that plants produce. In combination, these feedback routes generate pathways by which trophic interactions influence nutrient dynamics and vice versa, mediated through plant chemistry. Hunter provides evidence from terrestrial and aquatic systems for each of these pathways, and describes how a focus on the phytochemical landscape enables us to better understand and manage the ecosystems in which we live.
Essential reading for students and researchers alike, this book offers an integrated approach to population-, community-, and ecosystem-level ecological processes.
Mark Vellend builds a theory of ecological communities based on four overarching processes: selection among species, drift, dispersal, and speciation. These are analogues of the four central processes in population genetics theory—selection within species, drift, gene flow, and mutation—and together they subsume almost all of the many dozens of more specific models built to describe the dynamics of communities of interacting species. The result is a theory that allows the effects of many low-level processes, such as competition, facilitation, predation, disturbance, stress, succession, colonization, and local extinction to be understood as the underpinnings of high-level processes with widely applicable consequences for ecological communities.
Reframing the numerous existing ideas in community ecology, The Theory of Ecological Communities provides a new way for thinking about biological composition and diversity.
McPeek explores the ecological performance characteristics needed for invasibility and coexistence of species in complex networks of species interactions. This species interaction framework is then extended to examine the ecological dynamics of natural selection that drive coevolution of interacting species in these complex interaction networks. The models of natural selection resulting from species interactions are used to evaluate the ecological conditions that foster diversification at multiple trophic levels. Analyses show that diversification depends on the ecological context in which species interactions occur and the types of traits that define the mechanisms of those species interactions. Lastly, looking at the mechanisms of speciation that affect species richness and diversity at various spatial scales and the consequences of past climate change over the Quaternary period, McPeek considers how metacommunity structure is shaped at regional and biogeographic scales.
Integrating evolutionary theory into the study of community ecology, Evolutionary Community Ecology provides a new framework for predicting how communities are organized and how they may change over time.
The next big human pandemic—the next disease cataclysm, perhaps on the scale of AIDS or the 1918 influenza—is likely to be caused by a new virus coming to humans from wildlife. Experts call such an event “spillover” and they warn us to brace ourselves. David Quammen has tracked this subject from the jungles of Central Africa, the rooftops of Bangladesh, and the caves of southern China to the laboratories where researchers work in space suits to study lethal viruses. He illuminates the dynamics of Ebola, SARS, bird flu, Lyme disease, and other emerging threats and tells the story of AIDS and its origins as it has never before been told. Spillover reads like a mystery tale, full of mayhem and clues and questions. When the Next Big One arrives, what will it look like? From which innocent host animal will it emerge? Will we be ready?
Have you ever wondered how the food you eat becomes the energy your body needs to keep going? The theory of evolution says that humans and chimps descended from a common ancestor, but does it tell us how and why? We humans are insatiably curious creatures who can't help wondering how things work—starting with our own bodies. Wouldn't it be great to have a single source of quick answers to all our questions about how living things work? Now there is.
From molecules to animals, cells to ecosystems, Biology For Dummies answers all your questions about how living things work. Written in plain English and packed with dozens of enlightening illustrations, this reference guide covers the most recent developments and discoveries in evolutionary, reproductive, and ecological biology. It's also complemented with lots of practical, up-to-date examples to bring the information to life.Discover how living things workThink like a biologist and use scientific methodsUnderstand lifecycle processes
Whether you're enrolled in a biology class or just want to know more about this fascinating and ever-evolving field of study, Biology For Dummies will help you unlock the mysteries of how life works.