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Toward a Unified Ecology

The first edition of Toward a Unified Ecology was ahead of its time. For the second edition, the authors present a new synthesis of their core ideas on evaluating communities, organisms, populations, biomes, models, and management. The book now places greater emphasis on post-normal critiques, cognizant of ever-present observer values in the system. The problem it addresses is how to work holistically on complex things that cannot be defined, and this book continues to build an approach to the problem of scaling in ecosystems. Provoked by complexity theory, the authors add a whole new chapter on the central role of narrative in science and how models improve them. The book takes data and modeling seriously, with a sophisticated philosophy of science.
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The Principles of Ecological Integration 2. The Landscape Criterion 3. The Ecosystem Criterion 4. The Community Criterion 5. The Organism Criterion 6. The Population Criterion 7. The Biome and Biosphere Criteria 8. Narratives for Complexity 9. Management of Ecological Systems 10. A Unified Approach to Basic Research Conclusion Notes References Index

About the Author

Timothy F. H. Allen is professor emeritus of botany at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Thomas W. Hoekstra is director of Sustainability International in Loveland, Colorado.


An important book that offers a synthesis across ecology written large. A provocative work, the authors' 'look 'em in the eye and tell 'em what you think' narrative voice should serve as a long overdue cause for scientists to pay better attention to their work. -- H. H. Shugart, author of Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and the Book of Job One day soon ecology and ecological perspectives will have to embrace and contain economics and become the dominant lens through which we look at the human condition. When that day comes, Toward a Unified Ecology will be the rootstock onto which much will be grafted. Hoekstra and Allen have done a magnificent job. -- David K. Hurst, author of The New Ecology of Leadership

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