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Population Ecology

Population Ecology: First Principles (Second Edition)

Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: STU - Student edition
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Population Ecology
    Book Description:

    Ecology is capturing the popular imagination like never before, with issues such as climate change, species extinctions, and habitat destruction becoming ever more prominent. At the same time, the science of ecology has advanced dramatically, growing in mathematical and theoretical sophistication. Here, two leading experts present the fundamental quantitative principles of ecology in an accessible yet rigorous way, introducing students to the most basic of all ecological subjects, the structure and dynamics of populations.

    John Vandermeer and Deborah Goldberg show that populations are more than simply collections of individuals. Complex variables such as distribution and territory for expanding groups come into play when mathematical models are applied. Vandermeer and Goldberg build these models from the ground up, from first principles, using a broad range of empirical examples, from animals and viruses to plants and humans. They address a host of exciting topics along the way, including age-structured populations, spatially distributed populations, and metapopulations.

    This second edition of Population Ecology is fully updated and expanded, with additional exercises in virtually every chapter, making it the most up-to-date and comprehensive textbook of its kind.

    Provides an accessible mathematical foundation for the latest advances in ecology Features numerous exercises and examples throughout Introduces students to the key literature in the field The essential textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students An online illustration package is available to professors

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4873-7
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xxiv)
  6. 1 Elementary Population Dynamics
    (pp. 1-29)

    In 1960 the famous cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster and colleagues devised an equation predicting that the human population would become effectively infinite on Friday the 13th of November, 2026, meaning that at that point in time all humans would perish because the next individual to be born would crush everyone else—mass death due to squashation! In fact von Foerster and his colleagues were making a tongue-in-cheek argument to call attention to an issue they thought quite important. This was one, perhaps humorous, example of the application of simple quantitative principles of population dynamics to problems considered important.

    Indeed there...

  7. 2 Projection Matrices: Structured Models
    (pp. 30-61)

    In the “unstructured” models discussed in chapter 1, we assume that all individuals are equal. Unstructured models are most often fitted to data on population sizes over time. Recent analyses of these sorts of data have become extremely sophisticated and will be discussed in a later chapter. However, most populations are divided into different classes of individuals. Insects have eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Plants have seeds, seedlings, saplings, and adults. Models of populations in which the individuals are thus “structured” are referred to as structured population models, the most common form of which are projection matrices. Structured models are...

  8. 3 Applications of Simple Population Models
    (pp. 62-80)

    In the previous two chapters we showed how simple mathematical models can illustrate general principles about population dynamics. In this chapter we illustrate the application of some of these models and associated tools to address a number of different kinds of problems. We start with the basic models of population dynamics from chapter 1 and apply them to the problem of the evolution of life histories and then move to using the structured models of chapter 2 to describe more complex patterns in life histories. We then turn to applications of population projection matrices both for natural resource management and...

  9. 4 A Closer Look at the “Dynamics” in Population Dynamics
    (pp. 81-125)

    Central to the analysis of population dynamics are concepts that come naturally to anyone trained in the physical sciences. In elementary physics classes, for example, a physical system is most frequently looked at from the point of view of stability and equilibrium. When engineers design systems, in fields from from aerospace to industrial management, one of the first questions asked is, Under what conditions will the system be at equilibrium, and will it be stable or not? Ecologists also began by asking such questions of ecosystems. As a consequence, concepts such as balance (equilibrium) and stability have become central to...

  10. 5 Patterns and Dynamics in Space
    (pp. 126-151)

    A bacterial population increases exponentially, at least for a short period of time, on a nutrient agar substrate. A population of rodents is maintained in a region but with dramatic shifts in numbers from year to year, in patterns seemingly like the chaotic patterns reflected in some of the simple models already discussed. These are patterns in time. Acacia trees in the African savannahs tend to occur in thickets where hundreds of individuals are concentrated in relatively small areas, and between these areas of concentration it is uncommon to find even a few individuals (usually the concentrated areas are near...

  11. 6 Predator–Prey (Consumer–Resource) Interactions
    (pp. 152-186)

    The first five chapters of this book have dealt with the situation in which all interactions are among individuals within a single species. Individuals interact in order to reproduce, thus creating a birth rate. They interact indirectly when they use the same resources, thus creating the phenomenon of competition. They interact in complicated ways to create nonlinear effects, especially in structured populations. This somewhat extensive introduction to population ecology examined many of these sorts of interactions but within the context of individuals interacting with one another in a single population or that of subpopulations interacting with one another in a...

  12. 7 Disease Ecology
    (pp. 187-197)

    The previous chapter treated the situation in which predator and prey are relatively equivalent in size and life history characteristics, a focus thought to apply to a wide variety of organisms, from parasitic hymenoptera attacking insect hosts to lions attacking zebras. But there is another kind of predation that is so different that it merits an entirely different mathematical approach. When the host is very large, with relatively slow dynamics, and the parasite is extremely small, with very rapid dynamics, the traditional predator–prey approach is not very useful. This is the case of infectious disease, in which the host...

  13. 8 Competition
    (pp. 198-224)

    In the nineteenth century, the notion of competition between different species of animals and plants was common. Indeed, competition was part of the intellectual context in which Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace formulated the theory of evolution through natural selection. Most frequently the idea of competition was thought of more or less as a sports metaphor. Two teams compete, one wins. The idea seems to have been too obvious to actually write about or think through too clearly. But that all changed when Lotka (1926), Volterra (1926), and Gause (1934) expanded on the elementary ideas of density dependence.


  14. 9 Facilitation and Mutualism
    (pp. 225-238)

    The situation in which one population has a beneficial effect on a second population may be referred to as facilitation, a phenomenon that is becoming more frequently recognized in population biology (Bruno et al. 2003). When two populations simultaneously have beneficial effects on one another, the phenomenon is referred to as mutualism. Mutualisms are arguably the most important interaction in nature if we consider all their varied forms. Consider the ubiquitous relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and vascular plants, the association of Rhizobium bacteria with leguminous plants, and the diverse community of bacteria in all mammalian guts, including ours. Or plants...

  15. 10 What This Book Was About
    (pp. 239-242)

    The subject matter presented in this text is logically organized, at least in the minds of its authors. In figure 10.1 we illustrate our vision of how the chapters are related to one another.

    At the base is the subject matter of chapter 1, the central ideas of exponential growth and density dependence (one example of which is the logistic equation). From that base we branched out, extending that subject matter to the complications involved in classical structured models (chapter 2). Then we moved into some exemplary applications (chapter 3). The main branch also led to two generalized themes, complications...

    (pp. 243-246)
    (pp. 247-254)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 255-264)