Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems


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Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems Author: Format: Paperback First Published: Published By: Oxford University Press
string(3) "202"
Pages: 202 ISBN: 9780198777755 Category:

Previously published in hardback 2013.
One of the most interesting and vexing problems in ecology is how distinctly different communities of plants and animals can occur in the same ecosystem. The theory of these systems, known as multiple stable states, is well understood, but whether multiple stable states actually exist in nature has remained a hotly debated subject.

Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems provides a broad and synthetic critique of recent advances in theory and new experimental evidence. Modern models of systems with multiple stable states are placed in historical context. Current theories are covered in a rigorous fashion with the specific goal of identifying testable predictions about multiple stable states. The book provides a more synthetic, more critical, and broader analysis of multiple stable states in natural ecosystems than any previous review. By making the theory more transparent and the analysis of the evidence more comparative, the book broadens the discussion about multiple stable states, leading to a more general consideration of the interplay between theory and experiment in community ecology and environmental management.

This accessible research monograph will be suitable for graduate students taking courses in community ecology, theoretical ecology, and restoration ecology. It will also be a valuable reference for professional ecologists and environmental managers requiring a concise overview of the topic.

Weight1 kg



Less frequently than the occurrence of a blue moon, a monograph comes along that not only crystallizes an entire field of research but also is such a good read that once one picks it up, s/he won't put it down until every page has been absorbed. Peter Petraitis' Multiple stable states in natural ecosystems is just such a book. * Aaron M. Ellison, Ecology * A very accomplished text, providing a concise overview of a complex subject with admirable clarity. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anybody working in the field of environmental management or conservation. * Christopher P Cesar, African Journal of Range & Forage Science *

Author Biography

Peter Petraitis is a Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and an ecologist known for his work in rocky intertidal shores in Maine where he has been working since 1981. He also works in Mongolia studying the impacts of climate change and nomadic herding on steppe grasslands in Lake Hoevsgoel National Park. Professor Petraitis received his Ph.D. in ecology from Stony Brook University in 1979 and was a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.