Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1980
W. K. Kellogg Biological Station
Michigan State University
Hickory Corners, MI 49060
Phone: (269) 671-2216
Fax: (269) 671-2104
As an ecologist, I am interested in the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity (the variety of life), and in particular, what determines species diversity at different spatial scales. At the local scale, the number and type of species found in a community depends on biotic and abiotic interactions, species sorting, and dispersal of colonists from a regional species pool. At broad spatial scales (regions, continents), we need to consider the factors that drive rates of diversification (speciation and extinction), as well as the dispersal of species between regions. Studying biodiversity at these different spatial scales requires different tools and different approaches. Local communities often lend themselves to experimental manipulation and my research in this area includes experimental studies in freshwater communities (working with fish and aquatic invertebrates), and long-term, collaborative studies on the effects of resource heterogeneity on species diversity in terrestrial grasslands. To study the causes of biodiversity patterns at broad spatial scales, I work collaboratively with a group of ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and paleontologists, focusing particularly on the evolution of the latitudinal gradient in biodiversity.
I retired from MSU in May 2018 and am now Professor Emeritus at KBS. Currently, I am working to finish a second edition of Community Ecology, co-authored with Brian McGill (U. of Maine) and scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press in May 2019. Updates on this second edition will be posted below
Published in 2012 and available from Oxford University Press as well as from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere.
About the Book
Community ecology has undergone a transformation in recent years, from a discipline largely focused on processes occurring within a local area, to a discipline encompassing a much richer domain of study, including the linkages between communities separated in space (metacommunity dynamics), niche and neutral theory, the interplay between ecology and evolution (eco-evolutionary dynamics), and the influence of historical and regional processes in shaping patterns of biodiversity. To fully understand these new developments, however, students need a strong foundation in the study of species interactions and how these interactions are assembled into food webs and other ecological networks.
This book, written for graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and practicing ecologists, presents a broad, up-to-date coverage of ecological concepts at an advanced level, including both the ‘new’ and ‘traditional’ aspects of community ecology.
It is divided into five sections:
- The Big Picture: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences of Biodiversity
- The Nitty-Gritty: Species Interactions in Simple Modules
- Putting the Pieces Together: Food Webs and Ecological Networks
- Spatial Ecology: Metapopulations and Metacommunities
- Species in Changing Environments: Ecology and Evolution.
Applied aspects of community ecology (e.g., resource harvesting, invasive species, community restoration) are treated throughout the book as natural extensions of basic theoretical and empirical work. Theoretical concepts are developed using simple equations and there is an emphasis on the graphical presentation of ideas. Each chapter includes a summary.
Brief Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Community Ecology’s Roots
PART I The Big Picture: Patterns, Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity
Chapter 2. Patterns of Biological Diversity 13
Chapter 3. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning 41
PART II The Nitty-Gritty: Species Interactions in Simple Modules
Chapter 4. Population Growth and Density-Dependence 65
Chapter 5. The Fundamentals of Predator-Prey Interactions 83
Chapter 6. Selective Predators and Responsive Prey 103
Chapter 7. Interspecific Competition: Simple Theory 125
Chapter 8. Competition in Nature: Empirical Patterns and Tests of Theory 149
Chapter 9. Beneficial Interactions in Communities: Mutualism and Facilitation 175
PART III Putting the Pieces Together: Food Webs and Ecological Networks
Chapter 10. Species Interactions in Ecological Networks 197
Chapter 11. Food Chains and Food Webs: Controlling Factors and Cascading Effects 223
PART IV Spatial Ecology: Metapopulations and Metacommunities
Chapter 12. Patchy Environments, Metapopulations, and Fugitive Species 251
Chapter 13. Metacommunities and the Neutral Theory 267
PART V Species in Changing Environments: Ecology and Evolution
Chapter 14. Species Coexistence in Variable Environments 289
Chapter 15. Evolutionary Community Ecology 317
Chapter 16. Some Concluding Remarks and a Look Ahead 339
Last Updated on 10 December 2018
Join us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr!