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From Populations to Ecosystems
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Michel Loreau has bravely, and successfully, built a new unified framework that harmonizes the disparate, and often conflicting, fields of population biology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. This book provides an exciting stimulus for new efforts to test and verify the rich array of insights that he provides. -- Harold Mooney, Stanford University Understanding global diversity has primarily been the business of evolutionary biologists, ecologists, and, only recently, the new breed of ecosystem/community ecologists, with little synthesis. In From Populations to Ecosystems, we can begin to see how these might all come together. This book is a valuable contribution, and will garner a wide readership. -- Shahid Naeem, Columbia University Loreau has crafted a significant volume that makes an important and timely addition to the literature on ecology. He writes clearly, even when he is grappling with thorny theoretical problems. No other author out there could have carried off the synthesis he provides. I predict that From Populations to Ecosystems will prove to be an invaluable resource for years to come. -- Robert D. Holt, University of Florida

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Preface: On Unifying Approaches in Ecology ix Chapter 1: Population and Ecosystem Approaches in Ecology 1 Chapter 2: The Maintenance and Functional Consequences of Species Diversity 19 Chapter 3: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning 56 Chapter 4: Food Webs, Interaction Webs, and Ecosystem Functioning 79 Chapter 5: Stability and Complexity of Ecosystems: New Perspectives on an Old Debate 123 Chapter 6: Material Cycling and the Overall Functioning of Ecosystems 164 Chapter 7: Spatial Dynamics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Metacommunities and Metaecosystems 196 Chapter 8: Evolution of Ecosystems and Ecosystem Properties 225 Chapter 9: Postface: Toward an Integrated, Predictive Ecology 260 References 269 Index 291

About the Author

Michel Loreau is professor and Canada Research Chair in theoretical ecology at McGill University.

Reviews

"This reviewer was particularly intrigued by the author's resurrection of the hypothesis that ecosystem complexity and biodiversity supports ecosystem stability, an early romantic notion that turned out to be extremely difficult to demonstrate. He makes a convincing case that this hypothesis may have merit after all."--Choice "This is a superbly written book about a very important challenge, namely that the theories of population, community and ecosystem ecology, and of evolution, have developed separately and are not entirely compatible. We need a synthesis of theories of population dynamics and ecosystem function and, faced with a global environmental crisis, we need it badly. This book is an excellent start... I strongly recommend this book to researchers in any branch of ecology."--Alan J. Butler, Austral Ecology "I found the text both informative and interesting, and certainly relied upon my background in population ecology and genetics in reviewing this text. In the classroom environment, I could see this text being used in a graduate seminar or perhaps a senior-level honors class in biology, ecology, environmental science, or any of the related disciplines (as a paleontologist, I would certainly recommend it!)."--Ryan F. Morgan, Priscum

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