Spatial Ecology: The Role of Space in Population Dynamics and Interspecific Interactions (MPB-30)

Princeton University Press
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Spatial Ecology addresses the fundamental effects of space on the dynamics of individual species and on the structure, dynamics, diversity, and stability of multispecies communities. Although the ecological world is unavoidably spatial, there have been few attempts to determine how explicit considerations of space may alter the predictions of ecological models, or what insights it may give into the causes of broad-scale ecological patterns. As this book demonstrates, the spatial structure of a habitat can fundamentally alter both the qualitative and quantitative dynamics and outcomes of ecological processes.

Spatial Ecology highlights the importance of space to five topical areas: stability, patterns of diversity, invasions, coexistence, and pattern generation. It illustrates both the diversity of approaches used to study spatial ecology and the underlying similarities of these approaches. Over twenty contributors address issues ranging from the persistence of endangered species, to the maintenance of biodiversity, to the dynamics of hosts and their parasitoids, to disease dynamics, multispecies competition, population genetics, and fundamental processes relevant to all these cases. There have been many recent advances in our understanding of the influence of spatially explicit processes on individual species and on multispecies communities. This book synthesizes these advances, shows the limitations of traditional, non-spatial approaches, and offers a variety of new approaches to spatial ecology that should stimulate ecological research.

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About the author

David Tilman is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Ecology and Director of Cedar Creek Natural History Area at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Plant Strategies and the Dynamics and Structure of Plant Communities (Princeton). Peter Kareiva is Professor of Zoology at the University of Washington.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 5, 2018
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780691188362
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Population genetics has made great strides in applying statistical analysis and mathematical modeling to understand how genes mutate and spread through populations over time. But real populations also live in space. Streams, mountains, and other geographic features often divide populations, limit migration, or otherwise influence gene flow. This book rigorously examines the processes that determine geographic patterns of genetic variation, providing a comprehensive guide to their study and interpretation.

Geographical Genetics has a unique focus on the mathematical relationships of spatial statistical measures of patterns to stochastic processes. It also develops the probability and distribution theory of various spatial statistics for analysis of population genetic data, detailing exact methods for using various spatial features to make precise inferences about migration, natural selection, and other dynamic forces. The book also reviews the experimental literature on the types of spatial patterns of genetic variation found within and among populations. And it makes an unprecedented strong connection between observed measures of spatial patterns and those predicted theoretically. Along the way, it introduces readers to the mathematics of spatial statistics, applications to specific population genetic systems, and the relationship between the mathematics of space-time processes and the formal theory of geographical genetics.


Written by a leading authority, this is the first comprehensive treatment of geographical genetics. It is a much-needed guide to the theory, techniques, and applications of a field that will play an increasingly important role in population biology and ecology.

A great many species are threatened by the expanding human population. Though the public generally favors environmental protection, conservation does not come without sacrifice and cost. Many decision makers wonder if every species is worth the trouble. Of what consequence would the extinction of, say, spotted owls or snail darters be? Are some species expendable?

Given the reality of limited money for conservation efforts, there is a compelling need for scientists to help conservation practitioners set priorities and identify species most in need of urgent attention. Ecology should be capable of providing guidance that goes beyond the obvious impulse to protect economically valuable species (salmon) or aesthetically appealing ones (snow leopards). Although some recent books have considered the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity as an aggregate property, this is the first to focus on the value of particular species. It provides the scientific approaches and analyses available for asking what we can expect from losing (or gaining) species.


The contributors are outstanding ecologists, theoreticians, and evolutionary biologists who gathered for a symposium honoring Robert T. Paine, the community ecologist who experimentally demonstrated that a single predator species can act as a keystone species whose removal dramatically alters entire ecosystem communities. They build on Paine's work here by exploring whether we can identify species that play key roles in ecosystems before they are lost forever. These are some of our finest ecologists asking some of our hardest questions.


They are, in addition to the editors, S.E.B. Abella, G. C. Chang, D. Doak, A. L. Downing, W. T. Edmondson, A. S. Flecker, M. J. Ford, C.D.G. Harley, E. G. Leigh Jr., S. Lubetkin, S. M. Louda, M. Marvier, P. McElhany, B. A. Menge, W. F. Morris, S. Naeem, S. R. Palumbi, A. G. Power, T. A. Rand, R. B. Root, M. Ruckelshaus, J. Ruesink, D. E. Schindler, T. W. Schoener, D. Simberloff, D. A. Spiller, M. J. Wonham, and J. T. Wootton.

Understanding and predicting species diversity in ecological communities is one of the great challenges in community ecology. Popular recent theory contends that the traits of species are "neutral" or unimportant to coexistence, yet abundant experimental evidence suggests that multiple species are able to coexist on the same limiting resource precisely because they differ in key traits, such as body size, diet, and resource demand. This book presents a new theory of coexistence that incorporates two important aspects of biodiversity in nature--scale and spatial variation in the supply of limiting resources.

Introducing an innovative model that uses fractal geometry to describe the complex physical structure of nature, Mark Ritchie shows how species traits, particularly body size, lead to spatial patterns of resource use that allow species to coexist. He explains how this criterion for coexistence can be converted into a "rule" for how many species can be "packed" into an environment given the supply of resources and their spatial variability. He then demonstrates how this rule can be used to predict a range of patterns in ecological communities, such as body-size distributions, species-abundance distributions, and species-area relations. Ritchie illustrates how the predictions closely match data from many real communities, including those of mammalian herbivores, grasshoppers, dung beetles, and birds.


This book offers a compelling alternative to "neutral" theory in community ecology, one that helps us better understand patterns of biodiversity across the Earth.

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