Since nutrients can become limiting resources in ecological systems, the way that these nutrients are recycled, as well as their actual exhaustion, is of great importance to the growth and stability of populations, and their resistance to perturbations. Thus the topic of nutrient cycling and food web dynamics is of crucial importance in ecology and this book is an synthesis of the area. A number of years ago, the data available on the cycling of nutrients within food chains was scant compared with the subject of food webs and communities generally. However, the time is now right for a summary of an awakening of interest in this important topic. The author is an authority in ecological modelling who has ably described and explained the topic in a clear and readable way. It should be useful reading for all with an interest in ecology. A final chapter discusses the implications for the major problem of global climate change. This book should be of interest to advanced undergraduates/research workers in ecology and biology/environmental scientists.
From the foreword by Stuart L. Pimm This is a major investigation into the nature of ecosystem processes and provides both an up-to-date summary of the state of ecosystem ecology and a clear statement of how the field should develop in the future. `Fort bien presente.... Cet ouvrage sera utile a tous les specialistes d'ecologie...' Bibliographie `Attention to detail, a careful choice of order in which themes are analyzed and a gradual increase in complexity, will make this book an ideal graduate textbook on the subject - Dynamics of Nutrient Cycling and Food Webs.'
General concepts of nutrient flux and stability; nutrients and autotrophs; variable internal nutrient levels; effects of nutrients on autotroph-hervivore interactions; herbivores and nutrient recycling; nutrient interactions of detritus and decomposers; nutrient limitation and food webs; competition and nutrients; disturbances to nutrient-limited food webs; effects of spatial extent; implications for global change.