Using an energy systems language that combines energetics, kinetics, information, cybernetics, and simulation, Ecological and General Systems compares models of many fields of science, helping to derive general systems principles.
First published as Systems Ecology in 1983, Ecological and General Systems proposes principles of self-organization and the designs that prevail by maximizing power and efficiency. Comparisons to fifty other systems languages are provided. Innovative presentations are given on earth homeostasis (Gaia); the inadequacy of presenting equations without network relationships and energy constraints; the alternative interpretation of high entropy complexity as adaptive structure; basic equations of ecological economics; and the energy basis of scientific hierarchy.
Part I introduces energetics, hierarchy, and systems modeling. Part II features design elements: intersections, autocatalytic modules, loops, series, parallel elements, and webs. Part III includes embodied energy, spectra of energy quality, temperature, complexity, spatial distribution, and diversity. Part IV discusses production, consumption, ecosystems, succession, economic systems, anthropological models, urban and regional models, global biogeochemistry, and the universe.
Over the past several decades, the field of invasion biology has rapidly expanded as global trade and the spread of human populations have increasingly carried animal and plant species across natural barriers that have kept them ecologically separated for millions of years. Because some of these nonnative species thrive in their new homes and harm environments, economies, and human health, the prevention and management of invasive species has become a major policy goal from local to international levels.
Yet even though ecological research has led to public conversation and policy recommendations, those recommendations have frequently been ignored, and the efforts to counter invasive species have been largely unsuccessful. Recognizing the need to engage experts across the life, social, and legal sciences as well as the humanities, the editors of this volume have drawn together a wide variety of ecologists, historians, economists, legal scholars, policy makers, and communications scholars, to facilitate a dialogue among these disciplines and understand fully the invasive species phenomenon. Aided by case studies of well-known invasives such as the cane toad of Australia and the emerald ash borer, Asian carp, and sea lampreys that threaten US ecosystems, Invasive Species in a Globalized World offers strategies for developing and implementing anti-invasive policies designed to stop their introduction and spread, and to limit their effects.
Scattered throughout the Great Plains are many isolated areas of varying size and ecology, quite distinct from the surrounding grasslands. Such spaces can be uplands like the Black Hills, low hills like the Nebraska Sand Hills, or linear areas such as shallow river valleys and deeply incised canyons. While the notion of “islands” is not a new one among ecologists, its application in Plains archaeology is.
The contributors to this volume seek to illustrate the different ways that the spatial, structural, and temporal nature of islands conditioned the behavior and adaptation of past Plains peoples. This as a first step toward a more detailed analysis of habitat variation and its effects on Plains cultural dynamics and evolution. Although the emphasis is on ecology, several chapters also address social and ideological islands in the form of sacred sites and special hunting grounds.
Evidence is mounting that top carnivores and other large mammals play a pivotal role in regulating ecosystem health and function, yet those are the species that are most likely to have been eliminated by past human activities. In recent decades, numerous efforts have been undertaken to return some of the species that were previously extirpated on local or regional scales.Large Mammal Restoration brings together for the first time detailed case studies of those efforts, from restoring elk in Appalachia to returning bison herds to the Great Plains to the much-publicized effort to bring back the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park. Together these case studies offer important lessons and new ways of thinking for wildlife managers and conservation biologists involved with restoration programs. Sections examine: approaches to determining the feasibility of a restoration program critical hands-on aspects of restoring large mammals obtaining public input into the process and gaining community support for programs the potential of some species to return without direct human intervention, and what can be done to facilitate that natural colonization An introductory chapter by Reed F. Noss explores some of the reasons for restoring large mammals, as well as some of the ecological and social complications, and a concluding overview by David S. Maehr discusses the evolutionary importance of large mammal restoration. Contributors include Paul C. Paquet, Barbara Dugelby, Steven H. Fritts, Paul R. Krausman, Larry D. Harris, Johnna Roy, and many others. Large Mammal Restoration brings together in a single volume essential information on the lessons learned from previous efforts, providing an invaluable resource for researchers and students of conservation biology and wildlife management as well as for policymakers, restoration advocates, and others involved with the planning or execution of a restoration program.
Understanding the chimpanzee mind is akin to opening a window onto human consciousness. Many of our complex cognitive processes have origins that can be seen in the way that chimpanzees think, learn, and behave. The Mind of the Chimpanzee brings together scores of prominent scientists from around the world to share the most recent research into what goes on inside the mind of our closest living relative.
Intertwining a range of topics—including imitation, tool use, face recognition, culture, cooperation, and reconciliation—with critical commentaries on conservation and welfare, the collection aims to understand how chimpanzees learn, think, and feel, so that researchers can not only gain insight into the origins of human cognition, but also crystallize collective efforts to protect wild chimpanzee populations and ensure appropriate care in captive settings. With a breadth of material on cognition and culture from the lab and the field, The Mind of the Chimpanzee is a first-rate synthesis of contemporary studies of these fascinating mammals that will appeal to all those interested in animal minds and what we can learn from them.
As we search urgently for a strategy of sustainable natural resource management, an international debate is brewing over destructive modern fishery methods. Namibia's Fisheries is a timely contribution to this discussion as it examines Namibia’s Benguela upwelling system, an area that supports traditional and modern forms of fishery. This volume analyzes the Namibian experience in fishery management, featuring essays by researchers, Namibian fishery managers, and international specialists that cover a range of ecological and social issues. Namibia's Fisheries will be a valuable resource for researchers, conservationists, and students of fishery management.
Property rights are a tool humans use in regulating their use of natural resources. Understanding how rights to resources are assigned and how they are controlled is critical to designing and implementing effective strategies for environmental management and conservation.Rights to Nature is a nontechnical, interdisciplinary introduction to the systems of rights, rules, and responsibilities that guide and control human use of the environment. Following a brief overview of the relationship between property rights and the natural environment, chapters consider: ecological systems and how they function the effects of culture, values, and social organization on the use of natural resources the design and development of property rights regimes and the costs of their operation cultural factors that affect the design and implementation of property rights systems coordination across geographic and jurisdictional boundaries The book provides a valuable synthesis of information on how property rights develop, why they develop in certain ways, and the ways in which they function. Representing a unique integration of natural and social science, it addresses the full range of ecological, economic, cultural, and political factors that affect natural resource management and use, and provides valuable insight into the role of property rights regimes in establishing societies that are equitable, efficient, and sustainable.
Rodent Societies synthesizes and integrates the current state of knowledge about the social behavior of rodents, providing ecological and evolutionary contexts for understanding their societies and highlighting emerging conservation and management strategies to preserve them. It begins with a summary of the evolution, phylogeny, and biogeography of social and nonsocial rodents, providing a historical basis for comparative analyses. Subsequent sections focus on group-living rodents and characterize their reproductive behaviors, life histories and population ecology, genetics, neuroendocrine mechanisms, behavioral development, cognitive processes, communication mechanisms, cooperative and uncooperative behaviors, antipredator strategies, comparative socioecology, diseases, and conservation. Using the highly diverse and well-studied Rodentia as model systems to integrate a variety of research approaches and evolutionary theory into a unifying framework, Rodent Societies will appeal to a wide range of disciplines, both as a compendium of current research and as a stimulus for future collaborative and interdisciplinary investigations.