Food Webs and Biodiversity develops a fresh, comprehensive perspective on food webs. Mechanistic explanations for several known macroecological patterns are derived from a few fundamental concepts, which are quantitatively linked to field-observables. An argument is developed that food webs will often be the key to understanding patterns of biodiversity at community level.
With global warming and other pressures on ecosystems rising, understanding and protecting biodiversity is a cause of international concern. This highly topical book will be of interest to a wide ranging audience, including not only graduate students and practitioners in community and conservation ecology but also the complex-systems research community as well as mathematicians and physicists interested in the theory of networks.
"This is a comprehensive work outlining a large array of very novel and potentially game-changing ideas in food web ecology."
—Ken Haste Andersen, Technical University of Denmark
"I believe that this will be a landmark book in community ecology … it presents a well-established and consistent mathematical theory of food-webs. It is testable in many ways and the author finds remarkable agreements between predictions and reality."
—Géza Meszéna, Eötvös University, Budapest
Axel G. Rossberg obtained an M.A. in theoretical physics at the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in complex-system physics at the University of Bayreuth. Since 2003 he is specializing on food-web theory and community ecology. To foster applications in the management context he recently joined UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas). He is also Senior Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast and Honorary Lecturer at University of East Anglia, and serves on the editorial board of The American Naturalist.
If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.