Cookie policy: This site uses cookies to simplify and improve your usage and experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please take a look at our privacy and cookie policies. Your privacy is important to us and our policy is to neither share nor sell your personal information to any external organisation or party; nor to use behavioural analysis for advertising to you.

Geography & environmental science

Resource that travels well

Introductory Ecology. First edition

Good introductory ecology texts are rare. They should stimulate further inquiry and should be topical, clear and exciting. They should be comprehensive enough to include the major principles without requiring further resources, yet should be well referenced. Examples should be relevant to the student's local environment, while reflecting biogeographical regions and world ecosystem types. Introductory Ecology comes close to satisfying all these requirements.

Ecology texts often fail to travel across the Atlantic, but this volume includes authors from the US and UK - and a breadth of relevant examples given in an American textbook style - and is in my view the best to be found outside Open University texts. Coverage is good, with a strong emphasis on biodiversity and evolutionary biology.

Simple, clear diagrams and a box format present special topics and worked examples sympathetically to non-specialists and beginners. Life tables, for example, are neither oversimplified nor impenetrable.

It is always possible to criticise omissions or undertreatment. In my opinion, ecosystem energy transfer deserves more space. It is also a shame not to bring the propagators of seminal ideas to life; where would plate tectonics be without Alfred Wegener?

Overall, this is a good introduction to what is acknowledged to be a complex subject.

Tony Andrew is lecturer in environmental science, University of Ulster, Coleraine.

 

Introductory Ecology. First edition

Author - Peter Cotgreave and
ISBN - 0 632 04227 3
Publisher - Blackwell
Price - £21.95
Pages - 278

  • Print
  • Share
  • Save
  • Print
  • Share
  • Save
Jobs