The Balance of Nature and Human Impact

The Balance of Nature and Human Impact

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Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 2/14/2013
EAN 9781107019614, ISBN10: 1107019613

Hardcover, 426 pages, 25.4 x 17.8 x 2.3 cm
Language: English

It is clear that nature is undergoing rapid changes as a result of human activities such as industry, agriculture, travel, fisheries and urbanisation. What effects do these activities have? Are they disturbing equilibria in ecological populations and communities, thus upsetting the balance of nature, or are they enhancing naturally occurring disequilibria, perhaps with even worse consequences? It is often argued that large-scale fluctuations in climate and sea-levels have occurred over and over again in the geological past, long before human activities could possibly have had any impact, and that human effects are very small compared to those that occur naturally. Should we conclude that human activity cannot significantly affect the environment, or are these naturally occurring fluctuations actually being dangerously enhanced by humans? This book examines these questions, first by providing evidence for equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions in relatively undisturbed ecosystems, and second by examining human-induced effects.

Introduction Klaus Rohde
Part I. Nonequilibrium and Equilibrium in Populations and Metapopulations
1. Reef fishes
density dependence and equilibrium in populations? Graham Forrester and Mark Steele
2. Population dynamics of ectoparasites of terrestrial hosts Boris Krasnov and Annapaola Rizzoli
3. Metapopulation dynamics in marine parasites Ana Perez del Omo, Aneta Kostadinova and Serge Morand
Part II. Nonequilibrium and Equilibrium in Communities
4. The paradox of the plankton Klaus Rohde
5. A burning issue
community stability and alternative stable states in relation to fire Peter J. Clarke and Mike J. Lawes
6. Community stability and instability in ectoparasites of marine and freshwater fish Andrea Simkova and Klaus Rohde
7. Ectoparasites of small mammals
interactive saturated and unsaturated communities Boris Krasnov
8. A macroecological approach to the equilibrial vs. nonequilibrial debate using bird populations and communities Brian McGill
Part III. Equilibrium and Nonequilibrium on Geographical Scales
9. Island flora and fauna
equilibrium and nonequilibrium Lloyd Morrison
10. The turbulent past and future of arctic vascular plants
climate change, spatial variation, and genetic diversity Christian Brochmann, Mary E. Edwards and Inger G. Alsos
Part IV. Latitudinal Gradients
11. Latitudinal diversity gradients
equilibrium and nonequilibrium explanations Klaus Rohde
12. Effective evolutionary time and the latitudinal diversity gradient Len Gillman and Shane Wright
Part V. Effects Due to Invading Species, Habitat Loss and Climate Change
13. The physics of climate
equilibrium, disequilibrium and chaos Michael Box
14. Episodic processes, invasion and faunal mosaics in evolutionary and ecological time Eric Hoberg and Daniel R. Brooks
15. The emerging infectious diseases crisis and pathogen pollution Daniel R. Brooks and Eric Hoberg
16. Establishment or vanishing
fate of an invasive species based on mathematical models Yihong Du
17. Anthropogenic footprints on biodiversity Camilo Mora and Fernando Zapata
18. Worldwide decline and extinction of amphibians Harold Heatwole
19. Climatic change and reptiles Harvey B. Lillywhite
20. Equilibrium and non-equilibrium in Australian bird communities - the impact of natural and anthropogenic effects Hugh Ford
21. Population dynamics of insects
impacts of a changing climate Nigel Andrew
22. The futures of coral reefs Peter Sale
Part VI. Autecological Studies
23. Autecology and the balance of nature-ecological laws and human induced invasions Gimme Walter
24. The intricacy of structural and ecological adaptations
micromorphology and ecology of some Aspidogastrea Klaus Rohde
Part VII. An Overall View
25. The importance of interspecific competition in regulating communities, equilibrium vs. nonequilibrium Klaus Rohde
26. Evolutionarily stable strategies
how common are they? Klaus Rohde
27. How to conserve biodiversity in a nonequilibrium world Klaus Rohde, Hugh Ford, Nigel R. Andrew and Harold Heatwole