Ecology: Concepts and Applications 8th Edition
Book PrefaceEcology: Concepts and Applications 8th Edition
This book was written for students taking their first undergraduate course in ecology. We have assumed that students in this one-semester course have some knowledge of basic chemistry and mathematics and have had a course in general biology, which included introductions to evolution, physiology, and biological diversity.
Organization of the Book
An evolutionary perspective forms the foundation of the entire textbook, as it is needed to support understanding of major concepts. The textbook begins with a brief introduction to the nature and history of the discipline of ecology, followed by section I, which includes two chapters on earth’s biomes—life on land and life in water—followed by a chapter on population genetics and natural selection. Sections II through VI build a hierarchical perspective through the traditional subdisciplines of ecology: section II concerns adaptations to the environment; section III focuses on population ecology; section IV presents the ecology of interactions; section V summarizes community and ecosystem ecology; and finally, section VI discusses large-scale ecology, including chapters on landscape, geographic, and global ecology. These topics were first introduced in section I within its discussion of the biomes. In summary, the book begins with an overview of the biosphere, considers portions of the whole in the middle chapters, and ends with another perspective of the entire planet in the concluding chapter. The features of this textbook were carefully planned to enhance the students’ comprehension of the broad discipline of ecology.
Features Designed with the Student in Mind
All chapters are based on a distinctive learning system, featuring the following key components: Student Learning Outcomes: Educators are being asked increasingly to develop concrete student learning outcomes for courses across the curriculum. In response to this need and to help focus student progress through the content, all sections of each chapter in the eighth edition begin with a list of detailed student learning outcomes.
Introduction: The introduction to each chapter presents the student with the flavor of the subject and important background information. Some introductions include historical events related to the subject; others present an example of an ecological process. All attempt to engage students and draw them into the discussion that follows.
Concepts: The goal of this book is to build a foundation of ecological knowledge around key concepts, which are listed at the beginning of each chapter to alert the student to the major topics to follow and to provide a place where the student can find a list of the important points covered in each chapter. The sections in which concepts are discussed focus on published studies and, wherever possible, the scientists who did the research are introduced. This case-study approach supports the concepts with evidence, and introduces students to the methods and people that have created the discipline of ecology. Each concept discussion ends with a series of concept review questions to help students test their knowledge and to reinforce key points made in the discussion.
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|March 30, 2019|
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