Invasion ecology is the study of the causes and consequences of the introduction of organisms to areas outside their native range. Interest in this field has exploded in the past few decades. Explaining why and how organisms are moved around the world, how and why some become established and invade, and how best to manage invasive species in the face of global change are all crucial issues that interest biogeographers, ecologists and environmental managers in all parts of the world. This book brings together the insights of more than 50 authors to examine the origins, foundations, current dimensions and potential trajectories of invasion ecology. It revisits key tenets of the foundations of invasion ecology, including contributions of pioneering naturalists of the 19th century, including Charles Darwin and British ecologist Charles Elton, whose 1958 monograph on invasive species is widely acknowledged as having focussed scientific attention on biological invasions.
In its first English-language edition, this book introduces the many-faceted interactions of animal populations with their habitats. From soil fauna, ants and termites to small and large herbivores, burrowing mammals and birds, the author presents a comprehensive analysis of animals and ecosystems that is as broad and varied as all nature. Chapter 2 addresses the functional role of animals in landscape ecosystems, emphasizing fluxes of energy and matter within and between ecosystems, and the effects of animals on qualitative and structural habitat change. Discussion includes chapters on the role of animal population density and the impacts of native herbivores on vegetation and habitats from the tropics to the polar regions. Cyclic mass outbreaks of species such as the larch bud moth in Switzerland, the mountain pine beetle and the African red-billed weaver bird are described and analyzed. Other chapters discuss Zoochory – the dispersal of seeds by ants, mammals and birds – and the influence of burrowing animals on soil development and geomorphology. Consideration extends to the impact of feral domestic animals. Chapter 5 focuses on problems resulting from introduction of alien animals and from re-introduction of animal species to their original habitats, discusses the effects on ecosystems of burrowing, digging and trampling by animals. The author also addresses keystone species such as kangaroo rats, termites and beavers. Chapter 6 addresses the role of animals in landscape management and nature conservation, with chapters on the impact of newcomer species such as animals introduced into Australia, New Zealand and Europe, and the consequences of reintroduction of species to original habitat. It also discusses the carrying capacity of natural habit, public attitudes toward conversation and more. The final section ponders the effects of climate on interactions between animals and their habitats.
Volume 20 of this series deals with a variety of plant and animal ecology topics.**Despite much recent work on herbivory, little attention has been given to insect herbivores active below ground. Brown and Gange describe the ecological adaptations of insects to this abundant but poor quality food resource, and the responses of plants to this potentially very damaging grazing pressure.**Plants living at high altitude must be able to cope with extreme climatic conditions, low carbon dioxide levels, and high radiation doses. Friend and Woodward describe these adaptations and discuss the degree to which they are genetically determined or merely the product of physiological plasticity.**Thomas presents a modular concept of ecology in which modules contain a resource and its associated consumers, and goes on to examine the general principles which may reflect the various mutualisms between organisms in some example fresh water modular systems.**Finally, West examines the microphytic soil crusts of arid and semi-arid soils. Although information on them is currently limited, they are likely to be important in some ecosystems.
Bioinvasion is fast becoming one of the world's most costly ecological problems, as it disrupts agriculture, drastically alters ecosystems, spreads disease, and interferes with shipping. The economic and environmental damages from alien plant, animals, and microbes in the United States, British Isles, Australia, South Africa, India, and Brazil acco
In Alien Species and Evolution, biologist George W. Cox reviews and synthesizes emerging information on the evolutionary changes that occur in plants, animals, and microbial organisms when they colonize new geographical areas, and on the evolutionary responses of the native species with which alien species interact. The book is broad in scope, exploring information across a wide variety of taxonomic groups, trophic levels, and geographic areas. It examines theoretical topics related to rapid evolutionary change and supports the emerging concept that species introduced to new physical and biotic environments are particularly prone to rapid evolution. The author draws on examples from all parts of the world and all major ecosystem types, and the variety of examples used gives considerable insight into the patterns of evolution that are likely to result from the massive introduction of species to new geographic regions that is currently occurring around the globe. Alien Species and Evolution is the only state-of-the-art review and synthesis available of this critically important topic, and is an essential work for anyone concerned with the new science of invasion biology or the threats posed by invasive species.
Like the Sydney Opera House or Uluru, the kangaroo is a unique symbol of Australia. This is the remarkable story of our most famous marsupial, from its ancient origins and prehistoric significance to current-day management and conservation. Marsupial specialists Stephen Jackson and Karl Vernes examine our sustained fascination with kangaroos-spanning 40,000 years-that allows these engaging marsupials to be instantly recognised by people the world over. The amazing diversity of this group of animals is revealed, ranging from tiny forest dwellers and tree kangaroos to large majestic animals living on the open plains of central Australia and the giant kangaroos that once roamed the Pleistocene landscape. The authors also investigate the natural history of kangaroos - their unique reproduction methods, intriguing behaviour, varied diet and trademark hopping abilit - all of which make them such fascinating animals.
This volume affirms how comparative psychology can help confront global environmental problems by analyzing and comparing the behaviors of humans and animals. This often complex relationship is clarified and given fresh insight as each paper in the collection examines some aspect of that relationship as it pertains to the ecological concerns of Australia. Data reported from aboriginal sources trace the development of the behaviors of many native species with a respect for indigenous people's knowledge and technology regarding their natural resources. The study's commitment to the renewal of environmental stability is far-reaching as it finds clues to the nature of a population's values and illustrates the need for diverse peoples to learn from each other in order to survive.
Why "the balance of nature"? Resilience. Temporal variability and the individual species. The effects of food-web structure. The variability of the environment. Nonlinear dynamics, strange attractors, and chaos. Extinctions. Species differences and community structure as explanations of why introductions fail. Patterns in species composition. Food-web structure and community persistence. Community assembly; or why are there so many kinds of communities? Small-scale experimental removals of species. Food webs and resistance. Changes in total density and species composition. The consequences of introductions and extinctions. Multispecies models and their limitations. Conclusions and caveats.