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Ecology of Woodlands and Forests Description, Dynamics and Diversity

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ISBN-10: 0521542316

ISBN-13: 9780521542319

Edition: 2007

Authors: Peter A. Thomas, John R. Packham

List price: $64.99
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Taking a functional rather than an ecosystem or a utilitarian approach, Thomas and Packham provide a concise account of the structure of woodlands and forests. Using examples from around the world - from polar treelines to savannahs to tropical rain forests - the authors explain the structure of the soil and the hidden world of the roots; how the main groups of organisms which live within them interact both positively and negatively. There is particular emphasis on woodland and forest processes, especially those involving the flow and cycling of nutrients, as well as the dynamics of wooded areas, considering how and why they have changed through geological time and continue to do so. This…    
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Book details

List price: $64.99
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 7/26/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 544
Size: 6.69" wide x 9.61" long x 1.10" tall
Weight: 2.332
Language: English

Peter Thomas is senior lecturer in botanical and environmental science at Keele University, UK with 30 years of experience in ecological aspects of trees and forest ecology in the UK, North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Russia and Australasia. He has written two other books for Cambridge University Press: Ecology of Woodlands and Forests (with John Packham, 2007) and Fire in the Forest (with Robert S. McAlpine, 2010).

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Introduction: Forest basics
Characteristics of woodlands and forests
The value of woodlands and forests
Tree biology and how it influences woodland ecology
Spatial structure
The woodland ecosystem: food chains, food webs and the plant, animal and decomposition subsystems
Forest types and classification
Regional classifications of forests and woodlands
Forest soils, climate and zonation
Soils and trees
Features of forest soils
Roots, foraging and competition
Forest zonation and site quality
Rain forests: climate, soils and variation
Primary production and forest development
Plant life forms and biological spectra
Light and shade
Temperature and pollutant influences on tree growth
Altitudinal zonation and timberlines
Evergreen and deciduous strategies: aspects of competitive advantage
Contrasts between three widespread tree genera: the pines, beeches and oaks
Ecology and significance of ageing trees
Reproductive strategies of forest plants
Plant strategies
Regenerative strategies and vegetative spread
Reproduction and fruiting
Roles and influences of animals
Time constraints
Biotic interactions
Producers and consumers
The interdependence of producers and consumers
Insect defoliation and damage
Forest fungi
Specialized heterotrophs: epiphytes, parasites and saprotrophs
Exotic plants
Herbivorous mammals and birds
The impact of woodland carnivores and omnivores
Herbivores and the Holocene: did the lowland European forest have a closed canopy?
Biodiversity in woodlands
Genetic variation in populations and its implications
Selection pressures and biodiversity
Biodiversity at organism, population and habitat levels
Changes in species diversity over time
What allows species to co-exist in a woodland?
Conservation, biodiversity, population integrity and uniqueness
Decomposition and renewal
The vital key to a working forest
Degradative stages
How much dead material is there?
What controls the rate of decomposition?
Rates of decomposition
Woody material
Energy and nutrients
Growth of forests
Energy flow through forest ecosystems
Nutrient cycling
Nutrient dynamics in different forests
Human influences
Forest change and disturbance
Ecology of past forests
Ecological processes that govern change
Disturbance, patch dynamics and scales of change
Examples of forest change
Stability and diversity
Working forests
Forest resources and products
Single- and multi-use forests
Silviculture and the replacement of trees
Improving the forest: choice of species and provenance
Forest practices
Sustainable forest management
Landscape ecology and forests
The future - how will our forests change?
Threats to forests and the increasing demand for timber
Climate change
Other causes of forest decline
Problems in urban forests - the social interface
Agroforestry and new forests
The final challenge