Human Ecology: Basic Concepts for Sustainable Development

Gerald G Marten 
Earthscan  2001  

Softcover  224 pp  ISBN 9781853837142      £25.00
The scope and clarity of this book make it accessible and informative to a wide readership. Its messages should be an essential component of the education for all students from secondary school to university [It] provides a clear and comprehensible account of concepts that can be applied in our individual and collective lives to pursue the promising and secure future to which we all aspire
From the Foreword by MAURICE STRONG, Chairman of the Earth Council and former Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit)

The most important questions of the future will turn on the relationship between human societies and the natural ecosystems on which we all, in the end, depend. The interactions and interdependencies of the social and natural worlds are the focus of growing attention from a wide range of environmental, social and life sciences. Understanding them is critical to achieving the balance involved in sustainable development.

Human Ecology: Basic Concepts for Sustainable Development presents an extremely clear and accessible account of this complex range of issues and of the concepts and tools required to understand and tackle them. Extensively supported by graphics and detailed examples, this book makes an excellent introduction for students at all levels, and for general readers wanting to know why and how to respond to the dilemmas we face.


List of figures and boxes
Foreword by Maurice Strong

1 Introduction
What is human ecology?
Sustainable development
Organization of this book

2 Populations and feedback systems
Exponential population growth
Positive feedback
Negative feedback
Population regulation
The practical significance of positive and negative feedback

3 Human population
Human population history
Social mechanisms of population regulation
The population explosion and quality of life

4 Ecosystems and social systems as complex adaptive systems
Hierarchical organization and emergent properties
Stability domains
Complex system cycles

5 Ecosystem organization
Ecosystem design
Ecosystem homeostasis
Comparison of natural, agricultural and urban ecosystems
Landscape mosaics

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Earthscan : ecology : environmental science : sustainable development

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