This work has evolved, by a process of updating and expansion, from "Ecology of Woodland Processes" by Packham and Harding (1982). It is based on the factors which govern the composition of woodland communities, but goes on to explore the dynamics of interactions between various ecosystem components. Topics of particular current interest include root productivity, competitive foraging by plants, patch dynamics and regeneration, the significance of so-called defensive compounds, population dynamics of forest insects, and a re-think of conventional ideas on nutrient cycling in tropical forests and on succession. World forest types are compared and there are two new chapters on working forests, contemporary problems and the future of forests. Observations and inferences are presented from worldwide research, with direct references to original papers. The text aims to assist readers to reach informed decisions about issues such as the greenhouse effect, acid precipitation, the greening of cities and agroforestry.
`Very readable ... recommendable to a wide audience.'
Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
`I found the book to be a good introductory overview of these ecosystems. As a university professor who teaches classes in plant ecology, I found the book to be equally good as a textbook.'
The Quarterly Review of Biology
`This is quite the best forestry textbook that has been published for a long time. Its comprehensive yet concise treatment of all aspects of woodland ecology is stimulating to read...Despite being a comprehensive textbook full of information, it is clearly written with an excellent economy of words. Unlike many multi-author books, it is a truly joint work with the presentations consistent throughout so that one has no sense of different writers...Diverse examples of relevant worldwide research findings are skilfully drawn together...if the book is used merely for reference...it has a place on every woodland manager's bookshelf...'
`A highly readable and informative volume which presents a broad view of forest dynamics...particularly useful to students beginning to study ecology, forestry or environmental science...this book succeeds in providing a comprehensive overview of forest and woodland structure and function.'
Forest Ecology and Management
`The layout, printing, and figures in the book are excellent...the greatest strength of the book is its richness of examples, case studies, and natural history details...Refreshingly, many of the examples in the book are from the authors' own studies and experiences, and these cases are conveyed with the depth possible only with such inside knowledge.'
Plant Science Bulletin
`The book is a useful introduction ... and will serve to stimulate the interests of students.'
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Preface. Introduction. Primary production: the autotrophs. Reproductive strategies of woodland plants. Soils, climate and zonation. Forest change. The herbivore subsystem and the exploitation of living autotrophs. Community change and stability. Decomposition and renewal. Energy and nutrients. Working forests. Contemporary problems and the future of forests. Epilogue. Further reading. References. Index.