Fundamental Processes In Ecology: An Earth Systems Approach

Paperback | September 19, 2007

byDavid M. Wilkinson

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iFundamental Processes in Ecology/i presents a way to study ecosystems that is not yet available in ecology textbooks but is resonant with current thinking in the emerging fields of geobiology and Earth System Science. It provides an alternative, process-based classification of ecology andproposes a truly planetary view of ecological science. To achieve this, it asks (and endeavours to answer) the question, "what are the fundamental ecological processes which would be found on any planet with Earth-like, carbon based, life?"The author demonstrates how the idea of fundamental ecological processes can be developed at the systems level, specifically their involvement in control and feedback mechanisms. This approach allows us to reconsider basic ecological ideas such as energy flow, guilds, trade-offs, carbon cycling andphotosynthesis; and to put these in a global context. In doing so, the book puts a much stronger emphasis on microorganisms than has traditionally been the case. The integration of Earth System Science with ecology is vitally important if ecological science is to successfully contribute to the massive problems and future challenges associated with global change. Although the approach is heavily influenced by Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, this is not a popularscience book about Gaian theory. Instead it is written as an accessible text for graduate student seminar courses and researchers in the fields of ecology, earth system science, evolutionary biology, palaeontology, history of life, astrobiology, geology and physical geography.

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iFundamental Processes in Ecology/i presents a way to study ecosystems that is not yet available in ecology textbooks but is resonant with current thinking in the emerging fields of geobiology and Earth System Science. It provides an alternative, process-based classification of ecology andproposes a truly planetary view of ecological s...

David M. Wilkinson is Reader in Environmental Science in the School of Biological and Earth Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University. He has wide interests within the environmental and biological sciences, where much of his research is on theoretical topics within evolutionary ecology, biogeography and Earth systems science. In ad...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.39 inPublished:September 19, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199229066

ISBN - 13:9780199229062

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart I. Introduction1. Introducing the thought experimentPart II. The Fundamental processes2. Energy Flow3. Multiple guilds4. Tradeoffs and biodiversity5. Ecological hypercycles - covering a planet with life6. Merging of organismal and ecological physiology7. Photosynthesis8. Carbon sequestrationPart III. Emerging systems9. Nutrient cycling as an emergent property10. Historical contingency and the development of planetary ecosystems11. From processes to systemsGlossaryReferences

Editorial Reviews

`Wilkinson does a fine job explaining fundamental ecological processes such as energy flow, multiple guilds, carbon sequestration, etc...'Journal of Sedimentary Research, David Wilkins, Boise State University, USA