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Network thinking and network analysis are rapidly expanding features of ecological research. Network analysis of ecological systems include representations and modelling of the interactions in an ecosystem, in which species or factors are joined by pairwise connections. This book provides an overview of ecological network analysis including generating processes, the relationship between structure and dynamic function, and statistics and models for these networks. Starting with a general introduction to the composition of networks and their characteristics, it includes details on such topics as measures of network complexity, applications of spectral graph theory, how best to include indirect species interactions, and multilayer, multiplex and multilevel networks. Graduate students and researchers who want to develop and understand ecological networks in their research will find this volume inspiring and helpful. Detailed guidance to those already working in network ecology but looking for advice is also included.
There is a growing concern that many important ecosystems, such as coral reefs and tropical rain forests, might be at risk of sudden collapse as a result of human disturbance. At the same time, efforts to support the recovery of degraded ecosystems are increasing, through approaches such as ecological restoration and rewilding. Given the dependence of human livelihoods on the multiple benefits provided by ecosystems, there is an urgent need to understand the situations under which ecosystem collapse can occur, and how ecosystem recovery can best be supported. To help develop this understanding, this volume provides the first scientific account of the ecological mechanisms associated with the collapse of ecosystems and their subsequent recovery. After providing an overview of relevant theory, the text evaluates these ideas in the light of available empirical evidence, by profiling case studies drawn from both contemporary and prehistoric ecosystems. Implications for conservation policy and practice are then examined.
Functional ecology is the branch of ecology that focuses on various functions that species play in the community or ecosystem in which they occur. This accessible guide offers the main concepts and tools in trait-based ecology, and their tricks, covering different trophic levels and organism types. It is designed for students, researchers and practitioners who wish to get a handy synthesis of existing concepts, tools and trends in trait-based ecology, and wish to apply it to their own field of interest. Where relevant, exercises specifically designed to be run in R are included, along with accompanying on-line resources including solutions for exercises and R functions, and updates reflecting current developments in this fast-changing field. Based on more than a decade of teaching experience, the authors developed and improved the way theoretical aspects and analytical tools of trait-based ecology are introduced and explained to readers.
The Systems Ecology Paradigm (SEP) incorporates humans as integral parts of ecosystems and emphasizes issues that have significant societal relevance such as grazing land, forestland, and agricultural ecosystem management, biodiversity and global change impacts. Accomplishing this societally relevant research requires cutting-edge basic and applied research. This book focuses on environmental and natural resource challenges confronting local to global societies for which the SEP methodology must be utilized for resolution. Key elements of SEP are a holistic perspective of ecological/social systems, systems thinking, and the ecosystem approach applied to real world, complex environmental and natural resource problems. The SEP and ecosystem approaches force scientific emphasis to be placed on collaborations with social scientists and behavioral, learning, and marketing professionals. The SEP has given environmental scientists, decision makers, citizen stakeholders, and land and water managers a powerful set of tools to analyse, integrate knowledge, and propose adoption of solutions to important local to global problems.
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bears as vulnerable or endangered, and even the least concern species, such as the brown bear, are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations are prohibited, but still ongoing. Covering all bears species worldwide, this beautifully illustrated volume brings together the contributions of 200 international bear experts on the ecology, conservation status, and management of the Ursidae family. It reveals the fascinating long history of interactions between humans and bears and the threats affecting these charismatic species.
River networks are critically important ecosystems. This interdisciplinary book provides an integrated ecohydrological framework blending laboratory, field, and theoretical evidence that changes our understanding of river networks as ecological corridors. It describes how the physical structure of the river environment impacts biodiversity, species invasions, population dynamics, and the spread of waterborne disease. State-of-the-art research on the ecological roles of the structure of river networks is summarized, including important studies on the spread and control of waterborne diseases, biodiversity loss due to water resource management, and invasions by non-native species. Practical implications of this research are illustrated with numerous examples throughout. This is an invaluable go-to reference for graduate students and researchers interested in river ecology and hydrology, and the links between the two. Describing new related research on spatially-explicit modeling of the spread of waterborne disease, this book will also be of great interest to epidemiologists and public health managers.
Forests play an important role in resolving global challenges such as sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity loss, and food and water security. Stopping deforestation is crucial for the future of our planet. Global efforts to curb deforestation, have been partially successful, but have largely fallen short. At the same time, national level efforts to support human development, reflected in the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, aim to increase the welfare and wellbeing of populations living in poverty. Meeting these development goals will inevitably have crosscutting effects on initiatives to address deforestation. In balancing these goals, policy makers are confronted with wicked problems – or problems where there are moral considerations and where limited information is available for policy makers. This book is focused on how wicked forest policy problems have been, and can be, addressed.
Large-scale tree planting is advocated to provide additional atmospheric cooling and further reduce global warming. This raises a question about the present time: do trees cool or warm the atmosphere? This question does not have a simple yes or no answer. Examination of the greenhouse effect, global warming and the carbon cycle, and how trees and forests function provides the basis for understanding how forests might cool or warm the atmosphere. Results from research and models indicate that cooling or warming depends on where forests are located and the type and color of trees. Cooling generally prevails over warming, but this may change. This book will appeal to anyone interested in climate change, ecology and conservation.
Joint species distribution modelling (JSDM) is a fast-developing field and promises to revolutionise how data on ecological communities are analysed and interpreted. Written for both readers with a limited statistical background, and those with statistical expertise, this book provides a comprehensive account of JSDM. It enables readers to integrate data on species abundances, environmental covariates, species traits, phylogenetic relationships, and the spatio-temporal context in which the data have been acquired. Step-by-step coverage of the full technical detail of statistical methods is provided, as well as advice on interpreting results of statistical analyses in the broader context of modern community ecology theory. With the advantage of numerous example R-scripts, this is an ideal guide to help graduate students and researchers learn how to conduct and interpret statistical analyses in practice with the R-package Hmsc, providing a fast starting point for applying joint species distribution modelling to their own data.
This thoroughly revised and updated edition provides an accessible overview of the rapidly advancing field of plant physiology. Key topics covered include absorption of water, ascent of sap, transpiration, mineral nutrition, fat metabolism, enzymes and plant hormones. Separate chapters are included on photosynthesis, respiration and nitrogen metabolism, and emphasis is placed on their contribution to food security, climate resilient farming (or climate-smart agriculture) and sustainable development. There is also a chapter on the seminal contributions of plant physiologists. Supported by the inclusion of laboratory experimental exercises and solved numerical problems, the text emphasises the conceptual framework, for example, in coverage of topics such as thermodynamics, water potential gradients and energy transformation during metabolic processes, water use efficiency (WUE) and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). Bringing together the theoretical and practical details, this text is accessible, self-contained and student-friendly.
Despite a century of study by ecologists, recovery following disturbances (succession) is not fully understood. This book provides the first global synthesis that compares plant succession in all major terrestrial biomes and after all major terrestrial disturbances. It asks critical questions such as: Does succession follow general patterns across biomes and disturbance types? Do factors that control succession differ from biome to biome? If common drivers exist, what are they? Are they abiotic or biotic, or both? The authors provide insights on broad, generalizable patterns that go beyond site-specific studies, and present discussions on factors such as varying temporal dynamics, latitudinal differences, human-caused vs. natural disturbances, and the role of invasive alien species. This book is a must-read for researchers and students in ecology, plant ecology, restoration ecology and conservation biology. It also provides a valuable framework to aid land managers attempting to manipulate successional recovery following increasingly intense and widespread human-made disturbances.
Viewing the subsistence farm as primarily a 'demographic enterprise' to create and support a family, this book offers an integrated view of the demography and ecology of preindustrial farming. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, it examines how traditional farming practices interact with demographic processes such as childbearing, death, and family formation. It includes topics such as household nutrition, physiological work capacity, health and resistance to infectious diseases, as well as reproductive performance and mortality. The book argues that the farming household is the most informative scale at which to study the biodemography and physiological ecology of preindustrial, non-commercial agriculture. It offers a balanced appraisal of the farming system, considering its strengths and limitations, as well as the implications of viewing it as a 'demographic enterprise' rather than an economic one. A valuable resource for graduate students and researchers in biological and physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, natural resource management, agriculture and ecology.
Conservation research is essential for advancing knowledge but to make an impact scientific evidence must influence conservation policies, decision making and practice. This raises a multitude of challenges. How should evidence be collated and presented to policymakers to maximise its impact? How can effective collaboration between conservation scientists and decision-makers be established? How can the resulting messages be communicated to bring about change? Emerging from a successful international symposium organised by the British Ecological Society and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, this is the first book to practically address these questions across a wide range of conservation topics. Well-renowned experts guide readers through global case studies and their own experiences. A must-read for practitioners, researchers, graduate students and policymakers wishing to enhance the prospect of their work 'making a difference'. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are essential to ensure a sustainable society and healthy ecosystem over the coming decades. However, the systems to be managed are both broad and complex, requiring an integrated understanding of both bio-physical systems, such as soils and water, and economic and social systems, such as urban development and human behaviour. This edited book joins these domains of knowledge together from an applied perspective and considers how computer science can help. It takes a strategic look at the benefits and barriers to using modelling within environmental management and planning practice. It delves further by providing an in-depth comparative review of a wide range of models from a variety of scientific disciplines of interest with examples of their use for NBS. As such, this illustrated guide is designed to help students, researchers and practitioners navigate the huge range of modelling options available and develop the common understanding to work inter-disciplinarily.
Through a long history of co-evolution, multicellular organisms form a complex of host cells plus many associated microorganism species. Consisting of algae, bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists and viruses, and collectively referred to as the microbiome, these microorganisms contribute to a range of important functions in their hosts, from nutrition, to behaviour and disease susceptibility. In this book, a diverse and international group of active researchers outline how multicellular organisms have become reliant on their microbiomes to function, and explore this vital interdependence across the breadth of soil, plant, animal and human hosts. They draw parallels and contrasts across hosts in different environments, and discuss how this invisible microbial ecosystem influences everything from the food we eat, to our health, to the correct functioning of ecosystems we depend on. This insightful read also pertinently encourages students and researchers in microbial ecology, ecology, and microbiology to consider how this interdependence may be key to mitigating environmental changes and developing microbial biotechnology to improve life on Earth.
Globally, more and more species are at risk of extinction as the environment and climate change. Many of these species require long-term management to persist - they are conservation-reliant. The magnitude of this challenge requires a rethinking of how conservation priorities are determined and a broader societal commitment to conservation. Choices need to be made about which species will be conserved, for how long, and by whom. This volume uses case studies and essays by conservation practitioners from throughout the world to explore what conservation reliance is and what it means for endangered-species management. Chapters consider threats to species and how they are addressed, legal frameworks for protecting endangered species, societal contexts and conflicts over conservation goals, and how including conservation reliance can strengthen methods for prioritizing species for conservation. The book concludes by discussing how shepherding nature requires an evaluation of societal values and ethics.
Notwithstanding the importance of modern technology, fieldwork remains vital, not least through helping to inspire and educate the next generation. Fieldwork has the ingredients of intellectual curiosity, passion, rigour and engagement with the outdoor world - to name just a few. You may be simply noting what you see around you, making detailed records, or carrying out an experiment; all of this and much more amounts to fieldwork. Being curious, you think about the world around you, and through patient observation develop and test ideas. Forty contributors capture the excitement and importance of fieldwork through a wide variety of examples, from urban graffiti to the Great Barrier Reef. Outdoor learning is for life: people have the greatest respect and care for their world when they have first-hand experience of it.
Forests provide vital ecosystem services crucial to human well-being and sustainable development, and have an important role to play in achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Little attention, however, has yet focused on how efforts to achieve the SDGs will impact forests and forest-related livelihoods, and how these impacts may, in turn, enhance or undermine the contributions of forests to climate and development. This book discusses the conditions that influence how SDGs are implemented and prioritised, and provides a systematic, multidisciplinary global assessment of interlinkages among the SDGs and their targets, increasing understanding of potential synergies and unavoidable trade-offs between goals. Ideal for academic researchers, students and decision-makers interested in sustainable development in the context of forests, this book will provide invaluable knowledge for efforts undertaken to reach the SDGs. This title is available as Open Access via Cambridge Core.