Ecosystem Engineers - Plants to Protists

Edited by Kim Cuddington, James E. Byers, William G. Wilson and Alan Hastings 
Academic Press  September 2007  

Hardback  432 pages  ISBN 9780123738578      £56.00
  • The only consolidated treatment available
  • Provides definitions, case studies, and examples of ecological models
  • Discusses how ecosystem engineering can inform and improve the management of natural resources
  • Includes contributions from Clive Jones, the leading figure in the development of the ecosystem engineer concept, and many other eminent ecologists, such as Alan Hastings

The first book entirely devoted to this topic, Ecosystem Engineers begins with the history of the concept, presenting opposing definitions of ecosystem engineeing. These varied definitions advance the debate and move past trivial difficulties to crystallize key issues such as the value of process-based vs. outcome-based. Authors include case studies spanning a wide spectrum of species and habitats, including above and below-ground, aquatic and terrestrial, and extant and paleontological examples. These studies enable readers to understand how the categorization of species as ecosystem engineers allows scientists to forge new explanatory generalizations. Of interest to all ecologists and environmentalists, this book ultimately illustrates how to inform and manage natural resources.


Section 1 History and Concepts

  • On the purpose, meaning and usage of the physical ecosystem engineering concept- Clive G. Jones and Jorge L. Gutiérrez
  • An historical perspective on ecosystem engineering- Natalie Buchman, Kim Cuddington and John Lambrinos
  • A new spirit and concept for ecosystem engineering?- William G. Wilson
  • Synthesis. Ecosystem engineering: Utility, contention and progress- Kim Cuddington

Section 2 Examples and Applications

  • Earthworms as key actors in self-organized soil systems- Patrick Lavelle
  • Microhabitat manipulation: Ecosystem engineering by shelter-building insects- John T. Lill and Robert J. Marquis
  • Carpobrotus as a case study of the complexities of species impacts- Nicole Molinari, Carla D-Antonio and George Thomson
  • Ecosystem engineering in the fossil record: early examples from the Cambrian period- Katherine N. Marenco and David J. Bottjer
  • Habitat conversion associated with bioeroding marine isopods- Theresa Sinicrope Talley and Jeffrey A. Crooks
  • Synthesis. Lessons from disparate ecosystem engineers- James E. Byers

Section 3 Theory and Models

  • Community responses to environmental change: Results of Lotka-Volterra community theory- Willliam G. Wilson and Justin P. Wright
  • Model studies of ecosystem engineering in plant communities- Ehud Meron, Erez Gilad, Jost von Hardenberg, Antonello Provenzale and Moshe Shachak
  • Balancing the engineer-environment equation: the current legacy- Kim Cuddington and Alan Hastings
  • Synthesis of Ecosystem Engineering Theory- William G. Wilson

Section 4 Socio-economic issues and management solutions

  • Jonathan H. Grabowski and Charles H. Peterson. Restoring oyster reefs to recover ecosystem services- John G. Lambrinos
  • Managing invasive ecosystem engineers: the case of Spartina in Pacific estuaries
  • Livestock and engineering network in the Israeli Negev: implications for ecosystem management- Yarden Oren, Avi Perevolotsky, Sol Brand and Moshe Shachak
  • Ecosystem engineers and the complex dynamics of non-native species management on California's Channel islands- Rob Klinger
  • The diverse faces of ecosystem engineers in agroecosystems- John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto
  • Management and ecosystem engineers: current knowledge and future challenges- Alan Hastings
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