Plant Disturbance Ecology - the process and the response

Edward Johnson and Kiyoko Miyanishi 
Academic Press  March 2007  

Hardbound  720 pp  ISBN 9780120887781      £50.00
The media coverage of natural disasters (hurricanes, fires, floods, ice storms, etc.) indicates the prevalence of natural disasters in most, if not all, ecosystems. In order for scientists to study, understand, and ultimately predict how these disturbances affect ecosystems, it is necessary for them to know more about the physical processes involved in these disturbances and to learn how to couple these processes to the ecological systems.

Essential for all ecologists, forest researchers, and conservation biologists, this book includes chapters on the disturbance processes, how the disturbance causes necrosis or death to individuals, and their effects on population or community processes. In this book, physical scientists who study disturbances provide an introduction to the physical disturbance processes, while ecologists relate this information to the way the vegetation responds to the disturbances.

This reference is also key for all researchers hydrology, geomorphology, and environmental management and will be of interest to professionals, researchers and students interested in vegetation dynamics and plant community ecology. Likely those in biology, botany, and ecology departments.


  • Introduction
  • Disturbance and Succession
  • Wind Processes: The turbulent wind in plant and forest canopies; Microbursts and macrobursts: windstorms and blowdowns; Understanding how the interaction of wind and trees results in windthrow, stem breakage and canopy gap formation.
  • Gravity Processes : Meteorological conditions associated with ice storm damage to forests; The effect of icing events on the death and regeneration of North American trees
  • Geomorphic Processes: Disturbance processes and dynamics in coastal dunes; Coastal dune succession and the reality of dune processes; Fluvial geomorphic disturbances and life history traits of riparian tree species
  • Hydrologic Processes: Water level changes in ponds and lakes: the hydrological processes; Vegetation dynamics due to fluctuating water levels in prairie wetlands
  • Combustion Processes: Modeling heating effects; Fire effects on grass populations; Wildfire as a distributed tree population process
  • Biotic Processes: Insect defoliators as periodic disturbances in northern forest ecosystems; Modelling disturbance and recovery of lodgepole forest due to mountain pine beetle outbreaks on landscape scales; Relationship between spruce budworm outbreaks and forest dynamics in eastern North America; Impact of beaver foraging on structure of boreal forests; Beaver, willow shrubs and floods
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Academic Press : biology, general : ecology : plant science

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