New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration

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As scientific understanding about ecological processes has grown, the idea that ecosystem dynamics are complex, nonlinear, and often unpredictable has gained prominence. Of particular importance is the idea that rather than following an inevitable progression toward an ultimate endpoint, some ecosystems may occur in a number of states depending on past and present ecological conditions. The emerging idea of “restoration thresholds” also enables scientists to recognize when ecological systems are likely to recover on their own and when active restoration efforts are needed.

Conceptual models based on alternative stable states and restoration thresholds can help inform restoration efforts. New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration brings together leading experts from around the world to explore how conceptual models of ecosystem dynamics can be applied to the recovery of degraded systems and how recent advances in our understanding of ecosystem and landscape dynamics can be translated into conceptual and practical frameworks for restoration.

In the first part of the book, background chapters present and discuss the basic concepts and models and explore the implications of new scientific research on restoration practice. The second part considers the dynamics and restoration of different ecosystems, ranging from arid lands to grasslands, woodlands, and savannahs, to forests and wetlands, to production landscapes. A summary chapter by the editors discusses the implications of theory and practice of the ideas described in preceding chapters.

New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration aims to widen the scope and increase the application of threshold models by critiquing their application in a wide range of ecosystem types. It will also help scientists and restorationists correctly diagnose ecosystem damage, identify restoration thresholds, and develop corrective methodologies that can overcome such thresholds.
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About the author

Richard J. Hobbs is an Australian Professorial Fellow at Murdoch University in Western Australia. Katharine N. Suding is an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Island Press
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Published on
Mar 19, 2013
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Pages
366
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ISBN
9781610911382
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Environmental Science
Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Land abandonment is increasing as human influence on the globe intensifies and various ecological, social, and economic factors conspire to force the cessation of agriculture and other forms of land management. The “old fields” that result from abandonment have been the subject of much study, yet few attempts have been made to examine the larger questions raised by old field dynamics.

Old Fields brings together leading experts from around the world to synthesize past and current work on old fields, providing an up-to-date perspective on the ecological dynamics of abandoned land. The book gives readers a broad understanding of why agricultural land is abandoned, the factors that determine the ecological recovery of old fields, and how this understanding contributes to theoretical and applied ecology.

Twelve case studies from diverse geographical and climatic areas—including Australian rainforest, Brazilian Amazonia, New Jersey piedmont, and South African renosterveld—offer a global perspective on the causes and results of land abandonment. Concluding chapters consider the similarities and differences among the case studies, examine them in the context of ecological concepts, and discuss their relevance to the growing field of restoration ecology.

Old Fields is the first book to draw together studies on old fields from both a theoretical and practical perspective. It represents an important contribution to the development of theory on old field dynamics and the practice of ecological restoration on abandoned farmland, and the broader implications of old field dynamics to ecology and restoration.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
National Best Seller
Named one of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People"
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Washington Post Best Memoir of 2016
A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world
 
Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.
The practice of ecological restoration, firmly grounded in the science of restoration ecology, provides governments, organizations, and landowners a means to halt degradation and restore function and resilience to ecosystems stressed by climate change and other pressures on the natural world. Foundational theory is a critical componof the underlying science, providing valuable insights into restoring ecological systems effectively and understanding why some efforts to restore systems can fail. In turn, on-the-ground restoration projects can help to guide and refine theory, advancing the field and providing new ideas and innovations for practical application.

This new edition of Foundations of Restoration Ecology provides the latest emerging theories and ideas in the science of restoration ecology. Fully one-third longer than the first edition and comprehensive in scope, it has been dramatically updated to reflect new research. Included are new sections devoted to concepts critical to all restoration projects as well as restoration of specific ecosystem processes, including hydrology, nutridynamics, and carbon. Also new to this edition are case studies that describe real-life restoration scenarios in North and South America, Europe, and Australia. They highlight supporting theory for restoration application and other details important for assessing the degree of success of restoration projects in a variety of contexts. Lists at the end of each chapter summarize new theory introduced in that chapter and its practical application.

Written by acclaimed researchers in the field, this book provides practitioners as well as graduate and undergraduate students with a solid grounding in the newest advances in ecological science and theory.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf.

That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not.

In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced.

In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss.

Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time.


From the Hardcover edition.
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