Terrestrial Ecosystems in Changing Environments

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 26, 1998 - Science - 537 pages
Predicting how terrestrial ecosystems might respond in the future to large-scale human-generated changes is a major challenge for ecologists. In Terrestrial Ecosystems in Changing Environments, Herman H. Shugart describes the fundamental ecological concepts, theoretical developments, and quantitative analyses involved in understanding the responses of natural systems to change. The key ecological concepts described include the ecosystem paradigm, niche theory, vegetation/climate relationships, landscape ecology and ecological modeling. A variety of ecological models are presented, and their applications in predicting responses to change are considered. The challenge of producing ecological models capable of predicting long-term and large-area ecosystem dynamics is reviewed and several examples are provided. Finally, some of the exciting new findings regarding terrestrial landscapes and their feedback with their climatic setting are discussed in the context of human land use and global change.

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Contents

The importance of understanding ecosystem change
3
The omnipresence of change
9
Temporal scale spatial scale and the ecosystem
33
Ecological modelling
61
Niche theory
103
Vegetationenvironment relations
144
The mosaic theory of natural landscapes
178
Individualbased models
207
Landscape models
294
Mosaic landscape models
343
Spatially interactive landscape models
382
Homogeneous landscape models
413
Global change
445
References
469
Index
523
Copyright

Consequences of gap models
248

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