Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science

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Kathleen C. Weathers, David L. Strayer, Gene E. Likens
Elsevier Science, Dec 19, 2012 - Nature - 326 pages
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Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science provides a compact and comprehensive introduction to modern ecosystem science.

This book covers major concepts of ecosystem science, biogeochemistry, and energetics. It addresses, contrasts, and compares both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. It combines general lessons, concepts, frameworks, and challenges in highly accessible synthesis chapters. It presents firsthand case studies, written by leaders in the field, offering personal insights into how adopting an ecosystem approach led to innovations, new understanding, management changes, and policy solutions.

This book is ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students who have had a general biology course, but not further training in ecosystems as well as researchers and professionals in ecology and environmental sciences.



  • Addresses, contrasts, and compares both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Combines general lessons, concepts, frameworks, and challenges in highly accessible synthesis chapters
  • Presents firsthand case studies, written by leaders in the field, offering personal insights into how adopting an ecosystem approach led to innovations, new understanding, management changes, and policy solutions

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About the author (2012)

Dr Weathers is a Biogeochemist with an expertise in air-land-water interactions, heterogeneous landscapes, ecological importance of fog, air pollution. Dr. Weathers' research focuses on quantifying how biology affects geochemistry and biogeochemical cycling across heterogeneous landscapes, and within and among multiple systems (air-land-water). Specific topics have included quantifying cross-boundary nutrient fluxes (e.g., nutrient and pollutant delivery and biogeochemistry from ocean to forest); how landscape and plant structure affect fog inputs-and how fog affects the biotic and abiotic maintenance of ecosystems; the importance of tree species, and their pests and pathogens, in controlling landscape biogeochemistry; and the effect of cyanobacteria on oligotrophic lake resilience. She has over 100 publications to date

Dr Strayer is a Freshwater Ecologist whose research is focused on the distribution and roles of freshwater invertebrates. He is currently working on the ecology of the Hudson River and on understanding the controls on distribution and abundance of pearly mussels. He has over 100 publications to date.

Dr Likens is an Ecologist with expertise in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, acid rain, and human impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. His research focuses on the ecology and biogeochemistry of both forest and aquatic ecosystems. He was the co-founder of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem study which discovered the links between ecosystem function and land-use practices. He and his colleagues were the first to discover acid rain in North America and to document the link between the combustion of fossil fuels and the increase of the acidity of precipitation. He was, in fact, subsequently rewarded with the National Medal of Science for his work in ecology. He has over 300 publications to date.

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