Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science

Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science, 1st Edition

Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science, 1st Edition,Kathleen Weathers,ISBN9780120887743


Weathers   &   Strayer   &   Likens   

Academic Press




235 X 191

Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science provides a compact and comprehensive introduction to modern ecosystem science.

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Key Features

  • Addresses, contrasts, and compares both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Combines general lessons, concepts, frameworks, and challenges in highly accessible synthesis chapters
  • Presents firsthand case studies, written by leaders in the field, offering personal insights into how adopting an ecosystem approach led to innovations, new understanding, management changes, and policy solutions


Ecosystem science has developed into a major part of contemporary ecology, and it is now applied to diagnose and solve a wide range of important environmental problems. Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science provides a compact and comprehensive introduction to modern ecosystem science. Written by a group of experts, this book covers major concepts of ecosystem science, biogeochemistry, and energetics.


Advanced undergraduate and graduate students who have had a general biology course, but not further training in ecosystems. Researchers and professionals in ecology and environmental sciences.

Kathleen Weathers

Affiliations and Expertise

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, USA

Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science, 1st Edition

Part I: Introduction
1. Introduction to Ecosystem Science
Part II: Ecological Energetics
2. Primary Production: The Foundation of Ecosystems
3. Secondary Production and Consumer Energetics
4. Organic Matter Decomposition
Part III: Biogeochemistry
5. Element Cycling
6. The Carbon Cycle
7. The Nitrogen Cycle
8. The Phosphorus Cycle
Part IV: Synthesis 
9. Revisiting the Ecosystem Concept: Important Features That Promote Generality and Understanding
10. Ecosystems in a Heterogeneous World
11. Controls on Ecosystem Structure and Function
Part V: Case Studies
12. From Global Environmental Change to Sustainability Science: Ecosystem Studies in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico
13. Ecology of Lyme Disease
14. Understanding Ecosystem Effects of Dams
15. Acid Rain
16. Streams and Their Valleys
Part VI: Frontiers
17. Frontiers in Ecosystem Science
Appendix: A Primer on Biologically Mediated Redox Reactions in Ecosystems

Quotes and reviews

“Highly recommended as a textbook, Fundamentals is certain to delight the reader with striking stories on the connection between habitat fragmentation and Lyme disease, and other intriguing examples that leave us marveling at the complexity of ecological interactions and remind us why we choose to work in this field.”--The Journal of Wildlife Management,July 10, 2014.

"Via multiple approaches (e.g., experimental, theoretical, cross-system comparisons), contributors discuss the energetics and biochemical branches of this rapidly evolving science, and present case studies illustrating how ecosystem science can identify and control problems in diverse ecosystems."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013
"I have been searching for a book like this for my ecosystem ecology class. The tone is right-on-target, the examples are apropos, and it is clear that these chapters are written for students as opposed to researchers, which is a significant plus."--Dr. Robert Hall, University of Wyoming
"I found the chapters in Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science to be well-organized and well-written. Students and teachers alike respond well to them. The level of detail is about right (not too dense), and the subject matter is presented in an interesting and engaging way."--Dr. Clifford Ochs, University of Mississippi
"The book is very readable and engaging, and it communicates both a general understanding of the topics and current state of the knowledge.  The incorporation of both terrestrial and aquatic systems is a great contribution since most ecosystem science textbooks are focused on terrestrial or aquatic systems."--Dr. Mary Arthur, University of Kentucky
"A refreshing approach that includes specific methods, examples and perspectives from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. It provides timely and motivating syntheses of concepts and approaches for addressing current challenges to earth's ecosystem functions."--Dr. Amy Rosemond, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia


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