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Ecology of Woodlands and Forests: Description, Dynamics and Diversity,9780521834520

Ecology of Woodlands and Forests: Description, Dynamics and Diversity

Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 8/13/2007
Publisher(s): Ingram Pub Services
Availability: This title is currently not available.


Taking a functional rather than an ecosystem or a utilitarian approach, Thomas and Packham provide a concise account of the structure of woodlands and forests. Using examples from around the world - from polar treelines to savannahs to tropical rain forests - the authors explain the structure of the soil and the hidden world of the roots; how the main groups of organisms which live within them interact both positively and negatively. There is particular emphasis on woodland and forest processes, especially those involving the flow and cycling of nutrients, as well as the dynamics of wooded areas, considering how and why they have changed through geological time and continue to do so. This clear, non-technical, text will be of interest to undergraduates, foresters, ecologists and land managers.

Author Biography

John R. Packham is Emeritus Professor in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Metric equivalentsp. xiv
Introduction: Forest basicsp. 1
Characteristics of woodlands and forestsp. 1
The value of woodlands and forestsp. 5
Tree biology and how it influences woodland ecologyp. 6
Spatial structurep. 13
The woodland ecosystem: food chains, food webs and the plant, animal and decomposition subsystemsp. 19
Forest types and classificationp. 25
Regional classifications of forests and woodlandsp. 35
Forest soils, climate and zonationp. 39
Soils and treesp. 39
Features of forest soilsp. 41
Roots, foraging and competitionp. 58
Forest zonation and site qualityp. 66
Rain forests: climate, soils and variationp. 76
Primary production and forest developmentp. 84
Plant life forms and biological spectrap. 84
Light and shadep. 91
Waterp. 110
Temperature and pollutant influences on tree growthp. 115
Altitudinal zonation and timberlinesp. 117
Evergreen and deciduous strategies: aspects of competitive advantagep. 127
Contrasts between three widespread tree genera: the pines, beeches and oaksp. 131
Ecology and significance of ageing treesp. 139
Reproductive strategies of forest plantsp. 144
Plant strategiesp. 144
Regenerative strategies and vegetative spreadp. 152
Reproduction and fruitingp. 162
Mastingp. 165
Roles and influences of animalsp. 178
Time constraintsp. 181
Biotic interactionsp. 187
Producers and consumersp. 187
The interdependence of producers and consumersp. 188
Insect defoliation and damagep. 191
Forest fungip. 201
Specialized heterotrophs: epiphytes, parasites and saprotrophsp. 214
Exotic plantsp. 218
Herbivorous mammals and birdsp. 219
The impact of woodland carnivores and omnivoresp. 230
Herbivores and the Holocene: did the lowland European forest have a closed canopy?p. 235
Biodiversity in woodlandsp. 241
Genetic variation in populations and its implicationsp. 241
Selection pressures and biodiversityp. 242
Biodiversity at organism, population and habitat levelsp. 247
Changes in species diversity over timep. 257
What allows species to co-exist in a woodland?p. 266
Conservation, biodiversity, population integrity and uniquenessp. 273
Decomposition and renewalp. 276
The vital key to a working forestp. 276
Decompositionp. 277
Degradative stagesp. 285
How much dead material is there?p. 288
What controls the rate of decomposition?p. 291
Rates of decompositionp. 298
Woody materialp. 302
Energy and nutrientsp. 318
Growth of forestsp. 318
Energy flow through forest ecosystemsp. 326
Nutrient cyclingp. 328
Nitrogenp. 331
Nutrient dynamics in different forestsp. 341
Human influencesp. 345
Forest change and disturbancep. 350
Ecology of past forestsp. 350
Ecological processes that govern changep. 366
Disturbance, patch dynamics and scales of changep. 374
Examples of forest changep. 387
Stability and diversityp. 395
Working forestsp. 397
Forest resources and productsp. 397
Single- and multi-use forestsp. 409
Silviculture and the replacement of treesp. 410
Improving the forest: choice of species and provenancep. 420
Forest practicesp. 424
Sustainable forest managementp. 427
Landscape ecology and forestsp. 429
The future - how will our forests change?p. 441
Threats to forests and the increasing demand for timberp. 441
Desertificationp. 445
Climate changep. 447
Other causes of forest declinep. 461
Problems in urban forests - the social interfacep. 471
Agroforestry and new forestsp. 474
The final challengep. 481
Referencesp. 483
Indexp. 514
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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