Robert B. Campenot Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress QP341.C36 2016 | Dewey Decimal 612.813
Like all cellular organisms humans run on electricity. Cells work like batteries: slight imbalances of electric charge across cell membranes, caused by ions moving in and out of cells, result in sensation, movement, awareness, and thinking—the things we associate with being alive. Robert Campenot offers an accessible overview of animal electricity.
The past five decades have witnessed a rapid growth of computer models for simulating ecosystem functions and dynamics. This has been fueled by the availability of remote sensing data, computation capability, and cross-disciplinary knowledge. These models contain many submodules for simulating different processes and forcing mechanisms, albeit it has become challenging to truly understand the details due to their complexity. Most ecosystem models, fortunately, are rooted in a few core biophysical foundations, such as the widely recognized Farquhar model, Ball-Berry-Leuning and Medlyn family models, Penman-Monteith equation, Priestley-Taylor model, and Michaelis-Menten kinetics. After an introduction of biophysical essentials, four chapters present the core algorithms and their behaviors in modeling ecosystem production, respiration, evapotranspiration, and global warming potentials. Each chapter is composed of a brief introduction of the literature, in which model algorithms, their assumptions, and performances are described in detail. Spreadsheet (or Python codes) templates are included in each chapter for modeling exercises with different input parameters as online materials, which include datasets, parameter estimation, and real-world applications (e.g., calculations of global warming potentials). Users can also apply their own datasets. The materials included in this volume serve as effective tools for users to understand model behaviors and uses with specified conditions and in situ applications.
Mark Denny Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QP31.2.D46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 591.7
From an engineer’s perspective, how do specialized adaptations among living things really work? Writing with wit and a richly informed sense of wonder, Denny and Alan offer an expert look at animals—including humans—as works of evolutionary engineering, each exquisitely adapted to a specific manner of survival.
Karl J. Niklas and Hanns-Christof Spatz University of Chicago Press, 2012 Library of Congress QK711.2.N54 2012 | Dewey Decimal 571.2
From Galileo, who used the hollow stalks of grass to demonstrate the idea that peripherally located construction materials provide most of the resistance to bending forces, to Leonardo da Vinci, whose illustrations of the parachute are alleged to be based on his study of the dandelion’s pappus and the maple tree’s samara, many of our greatest physicists, mathematicians, and engineers have learned much from studying plants.
A symbiotic relationship between botany and the fields of physics, mathematics, engineering, and chemistry continues today, as is revealed in Plant Physics. The result of a long-term collaboration between plant evolutionary biologist Karl J. Niklas and physicist Hanns-Christof Spatz, Plant Physics presents a detailed account of the principles of classical physics, evolutionary theory, and plant biology in order to explain the complex interrelationships among plant form, function, environment, and evolutionary history. Covering a wide range of topics—from the development and evolution of the basic plant body and the ecology of aquatic unicellular plants to mathematical treatments of light attenuation through tree canopies and the movement of water through plants’ roots, stems, and leaves—Plant Physics is destined to inspire students and professionals alike to traverse disciplinary membranes.