Ecosystems of Disturbed Ground

Ecosystems of Disturbed Ground

1st Edition - December 17, 1999

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  • Author: L.R. Walker
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080550848

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As the human population inexorably grows, its cumulative impact on the Earth's resources is hard to ignore. The ability of the Earth to support more humans is dependent on the ability of humans to manage natural resources wisely. Because disturbance alters resource levels, effective management requires understanding of the ecology of disturbance. This book is the first to take a global approach to the description of both natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes that physically impact the ground. Natural disturbances such as erosion, volcanoes, wind, herbivory, flooding and drought plus anthropogenic disturbances such as foresty, grazing, mining, urbanization and military actions are considered. Both disturbance impacts and the biotic recovery are addressed as well as the interactions of different types of disturbance. Other chapters cover processes that are important to the understanding of disturbance of all types including soil processes, nutrient cycles, primary productivity, succession, animal behaviour and competition. Humans react to disturbances by avoiding, exacerbating, or restoring them or by passing environmental legislation. All of these issues are covered in this book.Managers need better predictive models and robust data-collections that help determine both site-specfic and generalized responses to disturbance. Multiple disturbances have a complex effect on both physical and biotic processes as they interact. This book provides a wealth of detail about the process of disturbance and recovery as well as a synthesis of the current state of knowledge about disturbance theory, with extensive documentation.


For ecologists, land managers, demographers, conservationists, environmental scientists, policy makers, sociologists and agriculturalists.

Table of Contents

  • An Introduction to Terrestrial Disturbances (L.R. Walker, M.R. Willig).
    Disturbance Regimes and Ecosystem Response on Recently-deglaciated Substrates (J.A. Matthews).
    Stress and Disturbance in Cold Region Ecosystems (V. Komárková, F.E. Wielgolaski).
    Ecological Effects of Erosion (D. Pimentel, C. Harvey).
    Volcanic Disturbances and Ecosystem Recovery (R. del Moral, S.Y. Grishin).
    Boreal Forest Disturbances (O. Engelmark).
    Disturbance by Wind in Temperate-Zone Forests (S.L. Webb).
    Background Canopy Gap and Catastrophic Wind Disturbances in Tropical Forests (D.F. Whigham et al.).
    Forest Herbivory: Insects (T.D. Schowalter, M.D. Lowman).
    Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems and their Disturbance Regimes (P. Rundel).
    Grazing, Fire, and Climate Effects on Primary Productivity of Grasslands and Savannas (M. Oesterheld et al.).
    Disturbance in Deserts (J.A. MacMahon).
    Disturbance Regimes in North American Wetlands (K.L. McKee, A.H. Baldwin).
    Mining (J.A. Cooke).
    Disturbance Associated with Military Exercises (S. Demarais et al.).
    Disturbance in Urban Ecosystems (H. Sukopp, U. Starfinger).
    Disturbance and Biological Invasions: Direct Effects and Feedbacks (C.M. D'antonio et al.).
    Disturbance in Temperate Forests of the Northern Hemisphere (D. Binkley).
    Anthropogenic Disturbance and Tropical Forestry (G.S. Hartshorn, J.L. Whitmore). Successional Changes in Agroecosystems of the Rolling Pampa (C.M. Ghersa, R.J.C. León).
    Physical Aspects of Soils of Disturbed Ground (R.E. Sojka).
    Soil Microorganisms (M.F. Allen et al.).
    Responses of Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles to Disturbance in Forests and Rangelands (D.W. Johnson, B. Schultz).
    Disturbance and Primary Production in Terrestrial Ecosystems (I.K. Bradbury).
    Patterns and Processes in Primary Succession (L.R. Walker).
    Plant Interactions During Secondary Succession (S.D. Wilson).
    The Response of Animals to Disturbance and their Roles in Causing It, Including Patch Dynamics (M.R. Willig, M.A. McGinley).
    How Humans Respond to Natural or Anthropogenic Disturbance (C.J. Barrow).
    Restoration of Disturbed Ecosystems (R.J. Hobbs).
    Environmental Policies as Incentives and Disincentives to Land Disturbance (G.E. Eckert, C.R. Carroll).
    Patch Dynamics and the Ecology of Disturbed Ground: A Framework for Synthesis (S.T.A. Pickett et al.).
    Economic Growth, Human Disturbance to Ecological Systems and Sustainability (M. Giampietro). Disturbance in Terrestrial Ecosystems: Salient Themes, Synthesis, and Future Directions (M.R. Willigand, L.R. Walker).

Product details

  • No. of pages: 868
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 1999
  • Published: December 17, 1999
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080550848

About the Author

L.R. Walker

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA

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