In this age of increasing human domination of the Earth's biological and physical resources, a basic understanding of ecology is more important than ever. Students need a textbook that introduces them to the basic principles of ecological science, one that is relevant to today's world, and one that does not overwhelm them with detail and jargon.Peter Cotgreave and Irwin Forseth have designed this book to meet the needs of these students, by providing a basic synthesis of how individual organisms interact with their physical environment, and with each other, to generate the complex ecosystems we see around us. The unifying theme of the book is biodiversity-its patterns, causes, and the growing worldwide threats to it.Basic ecological principles are illustrated using clearly described examples from the current ecological literature. This approach makes the book valuable to all students studying ecology. Examples have been chosen carefully to represent as wide a range of ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic, northern and southern hemisphere) and life forms (animal, plant and microbe) as possible. Particular attention is paid to consequences of global change on organisms, populations, ecological communities and ecosystems. The end result is a text that presents a readable and persuasive picture of how the Earth's natural systems function, and how that functioning may change over the coming century.Features include:

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