Community Ecology is a book for graduate students, researchers, and advanced undergraduates seeking a broad, up-to-date coverage of ecological concepts at the community level. Community ecology has undergone a transformation in recent years, from a discipline largely focused on processes occurring within a local area to a discipline encompassing a much richer domain of study, including the linkages between communities separated in space (metacommunity dynamics), niche and neutral theory, the interplay between ecology and evolution (eco-evolutionary dynamics), and the influence of historical and regional processes in shaping patterns of biodiversity. To fully understand these new developments, however, students need a strong foundation in the study of species interactions and how these interactions are assembled into food webs and other ecological networks.
Both "new" and "traditional" aspects of community ecology are covered in the book's five sections:
*The Big Picture: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences of Biodiversity
*The Nitty-Gritty: Species Interactions in Simple Modules
*Putting the Pieces Together: Food Webs and Ecological Networks
*Spatial Ecology: Metapopulations and Metacommunities
*Species in Changing Environments: Ecology and Evolution
Applied aspects of community ecology (e.g., resource harvesting, invasive species, community restoration) are treated throughout the book as natural extensions of basic theoretical and empirical work. Theoretical concepts are developed using simple equations, and there is an emphasis on the graphical presentation of ideas. Each chapter concludes with a summary.