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As humans have come to dominate the earth, the ideal of studying and teaching ecology in pristine ecosystems has become impossible to achieve. Our planet is now a mosaic of ecosystems ranging from the relatively undisturbed to the completely built, with the majority of people living in urban environments. This accessible introduction to the principles of urban ecology provides students with the tools they need to understand these increasingly important urban ecosystems. It builds upon the themes of habitat modification and resource use to demonstrate how multiple ecological processes interact in cities and how human activity initiates chains of unpredictable unintended ecological consequences. Broad principles are supported throughout by detailed examples from around the world and a comprehensive list of readings from the primary literature. Questions, exercises and laboratories at the end of each chapter encourage discussion, hands-on study, active learning, and engagement with the world outside the classroom window.Read more
- Discussion questions, exercises and laboratories at the end of each chapter encourage students to take an active role in their learning
- Demonstrates the importance of interacting processes, rather than simple rules, in understanding urban ecosystems
- Links ecological principles to human consumption, health and well-being, demonstrating how human actions can lead to a range of unintended consequences
- Comprehensive review of the literature for deeper investigation, with key papers highlighted for further reading
Reviews & endorsements
"The urban environment is proliferating worldwide, and increasingly is becoming the habitat for humanity. As the authors point out, whereas in 1700 less than 1/10 of people lived in cities, today that fraction exceeds half the world's population. It is urgent to understand what the implications of this change are, and to form an ecosystem perspective on the city. Adler and Tanner have done so brilliantly in this wonderful and scholarly book, which manages to be simultaneously charming and educational. The book is constructed as an unfolding play, a comedy or tragedy depending on one's perspective, beginning with the introduction of the dramatis personae. This is followed by the action, in which the winners and losers of citification are identified, and the effects on the dynamics of materials and energy, culminating with a look to the future. The book can be read from beginning to end as a novel, but also is organized, with exercises, in such a way that it will make a superb text, providing a solid scientific perspective painlessly. This is, to my knowledge, an effort without peer, and certainly makes me want to teach such a course, or at least to take it. The authors have done a superb job, and the reader will be well rewarded."
Simon A. Levin, Princeton UniversitySee more reviews
"This primer of urban ecology spans an impressive breadth, viewing cities through the lenses of ecosystem, community, population, behavioral, and evolutionary ecology. Adler and Tanner bring these ideas together in a way that highlights the connections between urban ecology and human health, urban planning, and policy. The ability of the authors to communicate complex ideas in straightforward manner makes the book accessible to those new to the emerging discipline of urban ecology. The suggested discussion questions and exercises will surely prove to be useful resources for educators and students alike."
Amanda D. Rodewald, Cornell University
"… a comprehensive summary of the growing field of urban ecology through a biogeophysical lens … The organization of the book is clear and intuitive, and the research presented is varied and compelling … The scholarship is impressive … The "questions and further readings" included at the end of every chapter are thoughtful and well aligned with the content … The light breezy prose makes for an easy read that will keep the attention of students and urbanites alike. The language strikes an impressive balance between academic jargon and accessibility providing readers with breadth as well as ample opportunity to dig a little deeper. Students will appreciate the comprehensive glossary and pairing of basic ecological concepts with unique real-world applications … If you are interested in learning more about the ecology of these complex, varied, and beautiful things we call cities … this book is for you. I doubt you will be disappointed."
Kirsten Schwarz, Basic and Applied Ecology
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: June 2013
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521746137
- length: 353 pages
- dimensions: 248 x 175 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.73kg
- contains: 100 b/w illus. 89 colour illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Urban ecosystems and the science of ecology
2. Urban accounting
3. Urban ecosystem processes
4. The ecology of urban organisms
5. Implications of urban ecology
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