Primer of Ecological Theory

Joan Roughgarden

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Primer of Ecological Theory

By Joan Roughgarden
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Joan Roughgarden
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Appropriate for graduate course in population biology or as a supplementary text for general ecology.

Written by one of the leading authorities in ecology. This unique primer presents the first synthesis and overview of current ecological models. Teaches ecological theory from the organismal level to the ecosystem level with text accompanied by derivations and illustrations worked out on the computer using MATLAB.

  • Written by respected, leading authority in ecology.
  • Presents an overview of the basic mathematical models current in ecology in a manner that is accessible to those with a background in biology.
  • The first text to synthesize the various schools of thought in the field of population biology.
  • Integrates computer exercises throughout the primer so that the reader can understand and create basic ecological models. Computer exercises are based on MATLAB. This premier software tool enhances problem solving and visualization, allowing users to construct and analyze models.
  • Incorporates applied examples that apply theories to real-world scenarios.
Table of contents

1. Getting Comfortable Outdoors.

Equilibrium Body Temperature. Climate Space. Living at the Edge.

2. Time for a Byte of Food?

Searching Predator. Sit-and-Wait Predator.

3. The Sky's the Limit.

The Population Bomb. Keeping Track of the Years. Living Through Good Times and Bad. The Invading Wave.

4. Got'ta Stop Somewhere.

Measuring Abundance. Detecting Limits to Growth. The Logistic Model of Limits to Growth. Using the Logistic Model with Data. Comparing the Logistic Model to Other Models. The Logistic Weed. Ecological Stability. Ecological Chaos.

5. Ecology Evolving.

Genetic Variation. Natural Selection. Genetic Drift. Mutation and Recombination. Does Evolution Optimize? Natural Selection and Population Size. Natural Selection and Age. Hot Links to Other Evolutionary Topics.

6. Populations at Play.

Two-Species Lotka-Volterra Model of Competition. Three-Species Lotka-Volterra Competition. Resource-Based Competition Models. Predator-Prey Interaction. Host-Parasitoid Interaction. Host-Pathogen Interaction. Mutualism and Symbiosis.

7. Ecosystems at Work.

Biodiversity in Ecological Communities. Biogeochemical Function in Earth Systems.