Experimental Ecology: Issues and Perspectives

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9780195102413: Experimental Ecology: Issues and Perspectives

Experimentation is a dominant approach in contemporary ecological research, pervading studies at all levels of biological organization and across diverse taxa and habitats. Experimental Ecology assembles an eminent group of ecologists who synthesize insights from these varied sources into a cogent statement about experimentalism as an analytical paradigm, placing experimentation within the larger framework of ecological investigation. The book discusses diverse experimental approaches ranging from laboratory microcosms to manipulation of entire ecosystem, illustrating the myriad ways experiments strengthen ecological inference. Experimental ecologists critique their science to move the field forward on all fronts: from better designs, to better links between experiments and theory, to more realism in experiments targeted at specific systems and questions.

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About the Author:

William J. Resetarits, Associate Professor, Center for Aquatic Ecology, Illinois Natural History Survey. Joseph Bernardo, Department of Biological Sciences, East Tennessee State University.

Review:


"The ghost of Robert H. MacArthur continues to haunt community ecology. In the 1960s, MacArthur and his colleagues revolutionized community ecology by developing simple but effective models of species interactions based on the unifying principles of competitive exclusion and the ecological niche. . . . [T]he most profound challenge to MacArthur's work came from experimental ecologists. . . . [T]hese ecologists added and removed species in communities, monitored the result, and evaluated the models in this light. . . . Experimental ecology has since developed rapidly, and ecologists have carried out sophisticated manipulative experiments in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater habitats. Experimental Ecology . . . is an edited volume with 22 contributions from the leaders of experimental ecology. . . . This symposium volume gives a state-of-the-art look at experimental ecology. . . . [T]his book was thought-provoking and enjoyable. I highly recommend it to all ecologists."--BioScience


"This collection of essays is an answer to the call for mechanisms . . . Nowhere have I read a better account of the mechanistic perspective than in the lead chapter by Werner. I strongly recommended it to all ecologists contemplating experiments. Werner's scope is broad but his logic is concise, making the essay accessible and valuable to readers outside the field. . . . This volume makes two main contributions. First, it strongly advocates a mechanistic approach to the study of ecology, both philosophically and by example. . . . The second contribution of the volume is that most chapters review the work of the authors in a philosophical light, providing insights into these model systems that cannot be obtained from a typical publication, nor even from a typical published review of the literature. . . . This book will convince any ecologist that there is much to be gained by adding a mechanistic perspective to the arsenal of tools used to understand nature."--Ecology


"Tinkering, observing nature out of sheer curiosity, and armchair theorizing as the early nineteenth century philosophical naturalists did, have fallen out of favor in ecology. Although such unfettered inquiry has been the mainstay of discovery and progress in science, in recent history ecologists have sought to develop a more rigorous program of inquiry. The basic structure of this program is one in which experiment, observation, and theory inform one another through an iterative process until broadly applicable, mechanistic understandings of nature emerge. This book provides twenty-two well-written and insightful overviews on the state of this program from thirty-eight leading experimental ecologists. It is a valuable, stimulating ... volume. The contributing authors are uniformly strong advocates of experimentation in ecology, but their contributions vary in the issues they address. ... [T]his is an invaluable volume for all experimental ecologists."--The Quarterly Review of Biology


". . . .this book is a must read for experimentalists, aspiring or experienced. Here is the collective wisdom of a number of scientists who through trial and error have developed extremely successful research programs based heavily on inferences from experiments. . . .this volume promises to provide an important contribution to increasing the nontechnical sophistication of experimentation within ecological research programs." --Copeia


"A group of ecologists synthesize insights derived from experimental approaches ranging from laboratory microcosms to manipulation of entire ecosystems to illustrate the many ways experiments strengthen ecological inferences. The 22 contributions also critique current practices, advocating for better design, better links between experiments and theory, and more realism in experiments targeting at specific systems and questions."--SciTech Book News


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Published by Oxford University Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 019510241X ISBN 13: 9780195102413
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 019510241X

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