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Adaptive Herbivore Ecology
From Resources to Populations in Variable Environments

Part of Cambridge Studies in Ecology

  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521148368


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About the Authors
  • The adaptation of herbivore behaviour to seasonal and locational variations in vegetation quantity and quality is inadequately modelled by conventional methods. Norman Owen-Smith innovatively links the principles of adaptive behaviour to their consequences for population dynamics and community ecology, through the application of a metaphysiological modelling approach. The main focus is on large mammalian herbivores occupying seasonally variable environments such as those characterised by African savannahs, but applications to temperate zone ungulates are also included. Issues of habitat suitability, species coexistence, and population stability or instability are similarly investigated. The modelling approach accommodates various sources of environmental variability, in space and time, in a simple conceptual way and has the potential to be applied to other consumer-resource systems. This text highlights the crucial importance of adaptive consumer responses to environmental variability and is aimed particularly at academic researchers and graduate students in the field of ecology.

    • A monograph text describing plant–herbivore interactions in the context of the large African mammalian herbivores such as impala and kudu
    • Presents a simple modelling approach to describe consumer-resource interactions in space and time, which can potentially be applied to other ecological systems
    • The author, Professor Norman Owen Smith, is a world-leading ecologist who was awarded the Honorary Membership of the Ecological Society of America
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: ' … an enjoyable and informative addition to the ecological literature. We are convinced others will find the book equally stimulating and useful.' Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521148368
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acronym and symbol conventions
    1. Conceptual origins: variability in time and space
    2. Consumer-resource models: theory and formulation
    3. Resource abundance: intake response and time frames
    4. Resource distribution: patch scales and depletion
    5. Resource quality: nutritional gain and diet choice
    6. Resource constraints: physiological capacities and costs
    7. Resource allocation: growth, storage and reproduction
    8. Resource production: regeneration and attrition
    9. Resource competition: exploitation and density dependence
    10. Resource-dependent mortality: nutrition, predation and demography
    11. Habitat suitability: resource components and stocking densities
    12. Resource partitioning: competition and coexistence
    13. Population dynamics: resource basis for instability
    14. An adaptive resource ecology: foundation and prospects

  • Author

    R. Norman Owen-Smith, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

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