An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology uses a combination of visual presentations and the symbolic logic of algebra and calculus to provide the most accessible introduction to ecological theory available. It gives students the basic tools they need to understand the complexities of ecological systems and to analyze simple quantitative ecological problems. The author walks students through the most common models in ecology, beginning with first principles and then gently making each formulation accessible through a step-by-step development of equations paired with lavish illustrations. He also applies theoretical developments to practical issues in conservation and resource management, offering a more visceral understanding of the purpose and utility of the theory and demonstrating how it may need modification in its application to real-world problems and future directions. The text also includes some basic ecological genetics and an exploration of metapopulation dynamics.
An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology is enhanced by over 500 two-color diagrams, many end-of-chapter problems, and a website that includes simulation models that parallel each chapters development (http: //www.nceas.ucsb.edu/BookCase). Ideal as a main text for advanced undergraduate courses in theoretical and mathematical ecology or conservation biology, this unique book can also serve as a supplement or a self-guided tutorial in general ecology, population ecology, and community ecology courses.
"Really an excellent text; it supplies a thorough, biology-based introduction to ecological theory. I expect it will prove very useful for my course in population ecology for natural resource management students. The authors' explicit use of multiple modes of learning is refreshing."--Mark C. Andersen, New Mexico State University
"A terrific resource. It is all the basic mathematical underpinnings of ecology that I spend hours trying to explain to students at all levels--explained better than I do it--PLUS the things that I have to review myself before opening my mouth on theoretical issues. Two levels of excellent diagrams give rigourous heuristic justifications for the algebraic formalism. I'm also recommending this highly to my colleagues as a supplement for all undergraduate
coursees that even touch on theory, and as a main text for any heavily theoretical course."--Henry S. Horn, Princeton University
"For many students of ecology, the more mathematical aspects of ecology theory are difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate. This book offers the best effort that I have seen to help remedy this situation. This is an attractive, large format book and, as the title suggests, is generously furnished with illustrations. The real strength is in the meticulous care with which Case covers virtually every important topic across a broad array of theoretical ecology,
from single species to multispecies communities. The elements of demography are covered in great detail, but, at the same time, more advanced ideas, such as the effects of temporal and individual
variability on population growth rate and probability of extinction, are woven into the text in a way that make them just as natural and easy to grasp." -- Donald DeAngelis, BioScience, Sept 2000, Vol. 50, No. 9