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Essentials of Ecology, 4th Edition



Essentials of Ecology, 4th Edition

Michael Begon, Robert W. Howarth, Colin R. Townsend

ISBN: 978-0-470-90913-3 August 2014 480 Pages

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Essentials of Ecology, 4th Edition presents introductory ecology in an accessible, state-of-the-art format designed to cultivate the novice student's understanding of and fascination with the natural world. In a concise, engaging style, this text outlines the essential principles of ecology from the theoretical fundamentals to their practical applications. Full color artwork, simple pedagogical features and a wide range of carefully-chosen examples make this book an ideal introduction to ecology for students at all levels.

Related Resources

Part I Introduction

1 Ecology and how to do it

2 Ecology’s evolutionary backdrop

Part II Conditions and Resources

3 Physical conditions and the availability of resources

4 Climate and the world’s biomes

Part III Individuals and Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

5 Birth, death and movement

6 Interspecific competition

7 Predation, grazing and disease

8 Molecular and evolutionary ecology

Part IV Communities and Ecosystems

9 From populations to communities

10 Patterns in species richness

11 The flux of energy and matter through ecosystems

Part V Applied Issues in Ecology

12 Global biogeochemical cycles and their alteration by humans

13 Conservation ecology

14 The ecology of human population growth, disease, and food supply

  • Dramatic changes have been made to the art program, freshened up with new “thought bubbles” that highlight the important takeaways from complex figures.
  • Structural changes to the text (now 5 sections instead of 4) and expansion of certain topics, but maintained accessible text length.
  • Expanded coverage of ecosystem science and biogeochemistry, including extensive attention to both terrestrial and aquatic ecology and how ecological principles apply equally to both types of environments.
  • Hundreds of new studies added to demonstrate both fundamental and applied aspects of ecology.

This text has been written with an understanding of the scope of problems facing us (the unsustainable use of ecological resources, pollution, extinctions and the erosion of natural biodiversity) and conviction that the means to counter and solve these problems depend absolutely on a proper grasp of ecological fundamentals.

  • Key Concepts - summarized at the beginning of each chapter.
  • 3 categories of boxed text:
    • Historical landmark boxes emphasize some landmarks in the development of ecology.
    • Quantitative aspect boxes set aside mathematical and quantitative aspects of ecology so they do not unduly interfere with the flow of the text and can be considered at leisure.
    • ECOncern boxes highlight some of the applied problems in ecology, particularly those where there is a social or political dimension. In these, students will be challenged to consider some ethical questions related to the knowledge they are gaining.
  • Marginal headings provide signposts of where you are on your journey through each chapter – these will also be useful revision aids.
  • Summary and Review questions – included at the end of each chapter. Some questions are designated as challenge problems. 

WileyPLUS Learning Space is an easy way for students to learn, collaborate, and grow. With WileyPLUS Learning Space, students create a personalized study plan, assess progress along the way, and make deeper connections as they interact with the course material and each other.

Through a combination of dynamic course materials and visual reports, this collaborative learning environment gives you and your students immediate insight into strengths and problem areas in order to act on what’s most important.