The Balance of Nature?: Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities

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9780226668307: The Balance of Nature?: Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities

Ecologists, although they acknowledge the problems involved, generally conduct their research on too few species, in too small an area, over too short a period of time. In The Balance of Nature?, a work sure to stir controversy, the distinguished theoretical ecologist Stuart L. Pimm argues that ecology therefore fails in many ways to address the enormous ecological problems now facing our planet.

Ecologists describing phenomena on larger scales often use terms like "stability," "balance of nature," and "fragility," and Pimm begins by considering the various specific meanings of these terms. He addresses five kinds of ecological stability—stability in the strict sense, resilience, variability, persistence, and resistance—and shows how they provide ways of comparing natural populations and communities as well as theories about them. Each type of stability depends on characteristics of the species studied and also on the structure of the food web in which the species is embedded and the physical features of the environment.

The Balance of Nature? provides theoretical ecology with a rich array of questions—questions that also underpin pressing problems in practical conservation biology. Pimm calls for nothing less than new approaches to ecology and a new alliance between theoretical and empirical studies.

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From the Back Cover:

Stability in any sense depends on characteristics of the species involved, on the structure of the species' food web, and on physical features of the environment.

About the Author:

Stuart L. Pimm is the Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke University. He is the author of many books, including The World According to Pimm: A Scientist Audits the Earth.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ecologists, although they acknowledge the problems involved, generally conduct their research on too few species, in too small an area, over too short a period of time. In The Balance of Nature?, a work sure to stir controversy, the distinguished theoretical ecologist Stuart L. Pimm argues that ecology therefore fails in many ways to address the enormous ecological problems now facing our planet. Ecologists describing phenomena on larger scales often use terms like stability, balance of nature, and fragility, and Pimm begins by considering the various specific meanings of these terms. He addresses five kinds of ecological stability--stability in the strict sense, resilience, variability, persistence, and resistance--and shows how they provide ways of comparing natural populations and communities as well as theories about them. Each type of stability depends on characteristics of the species studied and also on the structure of the food web in which the species is embedded and the physical features of the environment. The Balance of Nature? provides theoretical ecology with a rich array of questions--questions that also underpin pressing problems in practical conservation biology. Pimm calls for nothing less than new approaches to ecology and a new alliance between theoretical and empirical studies. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226668307

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ecologists, although they acknowledge the problems involved, generally conduct their research on too few species, in too small an area, over too short a period of time. In The Balance of Nature?, a work sure to stir controversy, the distinguished theoretical ecologist Stuart L. Pimm argues that ecology therefore fails in many ways to address the enormous ecological problems now facing our planet. Ecologists describing phenomena on larger scales often use terms like stability, balance of nature, and fragility, and Pimm begins by considering the various specific meanings of these terms. He addresses five kinds of ecological stability--stability in the strict sense, resilience, variability, persistence, and resistance--and shows how they provide ways of comparing natural populations and communities as well as theories about them. Each type of stability depends on characteristics of the species studied and also on the structure of the food web in which the species is embedded and the physical features of the environment. The Balance of Nature? provides theoretical ecology with a rich array of questions--questions that also underpin pressing problems in practical conservation biology. Pimm calls for nothing less than new approaches to ecology and a new alliance between theoretical and empirical studies. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226668307

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