Geographical Ecology: Patterns in the Distribution of Species

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Princeton University Press, Jul 21, 1984 - Science - 269 pages

First published in 1972 and now available for the first time in paperback, this book is the summation of the life work of one of the most influential scientists of our time. Of permanent interest in the history and philosophy of science, it is also frequently cited in the current ecological literature and is still up-to-date in many categories.


"The theme running through this book," MacArthur wrote, "is that the structure of the environment, the morphology of the species, the economics of species behavior, and the dynamics of population changes are the four essential ingredients of all interesting biogeographic patterns." Written in his beautifully lucid style, this work will continue to be read by anyone concerned with biological ideas.

 

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Contents

The Background
3
Climates on a Rotating Earth
5
Atmospheric Global Circulation
9
Coriolis Force
11
World Rainfall Patterns
14
Appendix Derivation of Adiabatic Lapse Rate
19
The Machinery of Competition and Predation
21
Behavior and Competition
25
The Role of Habitat
142
The Fluctuating Boundaries of Species Distributions
144
The Structure of a Species Population
149
Communities of Species
154
Environmental Control of Community Structure
155
Distribution of Vegetation Types
159
Appendix Delayed Germination of Desert Annuals
165
Patterns of Species Diversity
169

Results of Theory of Competition
29
Experiments on Predation in Simple and Complex Environments
30
Results of Theory of Predation
31
Appendix Theory of Competition and Predation
33
Mathematical Treatment of Competition Theory
34
Graphical Treatment of Competition Theory
46
The Equilibria of PredatorPrey Interactions
56
The Economics of Consumer Choice
59
Optimal Feeding Place and Diet
61
Applications
62
The Geography of Species Classification
71
The Patterns
77
Island Patterns
79
The Nature of Island Colonization
84
Summary of Colonization Theory
89
The Nature of Extinction
92
Island Equilibrium
97
Habitat Islands on the Mainland
105
Land Bridge and Oceanic Islands
107
Island Evidence for Competition
111
The Krebs Effect
118
The Island View of Competition
119
Appendix Extinction Probability
121
Species Distributions
127
Adaptation to Unpredictable Climate
130
The Failure of Climate Alone to Account for Distributions
132
Theory of Species Diversity
170
The Principle of Equal Opportunity
173
Habitats Differing Only in Structure
177
Habitats Differing in Climatic Stability
179
Habitats Differing in Productivity
183
Habitats Differing in Structure Stability and Productivity
185
Matters of Environmental Scale
186
The Effect of Predators
191
Appendix 1 Derivation of Eq 2
195
Appendix 2 Measures of Diversity
197
Comparisons of Temperate and Tropics
199
The Spectrum of Resources in the Tropics
205
Patchy Distributions in the Tropics
207
Tropical Richness of Species
210
Tropical Clutch Sizes
219
Global Equilibrium of Species
222
Tropical and Temperate Islands
223
Patterns of Plant Morphology and Energetics
224
r and K Selection
226
Appendix 1 Theory of Patchy Distributions Under Competition
231
Appendix 2 Species Packing and Crystal Packing
237
The Role of History
239
Alternate Stable Equilibria
247
Bibliography
253
Index
261
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

Robert H. MacArthur (1930-1972) was Professor of Biology at Princeton University.

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