The 5th edition of Forest Ecology re-discovers the readability and accessibility of the previous editions. Much of the material covered in the 4th edition is just as relevant in the field today as it was almost 20 years ago. This new edition includes additional topical material that has surfaced in the field, such as climate change, invasive species, and the application of landscape ecology in forest management. Advances in our understanding of climate change impacts has grown exponentially over the last two decades, as has our exposure and experience with invasive species and their impacts of forests. The field of forest ecology in general is trending towards an understanding of site-species relationships as well as broad-scale ecological variability – trends astutely sensed by Dr. Barnes in the 1990s. The field is demanding that students and researchers think at multiple scales. As such, the book fills a niche utilized by no other forest ecology text on the market.
This edition will continue the comprehensive coverage it has had for over 50 years, with an emphasis on simplification and readability. The book remains focused on traditional plant ecology topics of tree structure and growth, regeneration, impacts of light and temperature on tree physiology, communities and succession, and diversity. It continues its review of abiotic factors of light, temperature, physiography (landforms and topography), soil, and disturbance (especially fire), and its coverage of ecosystem-level topics including carbon storage and balance, nutrient cycling, and forest ecosystem productivity. In addition to providing an updated, current perspective on these topics, contemporary components of forest ecology, including climate change, invasive species, ecosystem services, and highly altered (“novel”) ecosystems are covered. All topics are approached with a landscape ecosystem or geo-ecological view, which places biota (organisms and communities) in context as integral parts of whole ecosystems that also include air (atmosphere and climate), land and soil, and water. The authors use their experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research in forest ecology to create an accessible, appealing text for students while remaining an excellent reference for academics and practitioners.