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Ecosystems of Disturbed Ground - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444824202, 9780080550848

Ecosystems of Disturbed Ground, Volume 16

1st Edition

Author: L.R. Walker
eBook ISBN: 9780080550848
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 17th December 1999
Page Count: 868
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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).


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.


No. of pages:
© Elsevier Science 1999
17th December 1999
Elsevier Science
eBook ISBN:


@from:R.C. Anderson, Dept of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University @qu:...This 33-chapter book provides a comprehensive review of the literature on global disturbance, written by a group of international scientists.(...)
All chapters(...)that I intensively reviewed were well written and organized, contained comprehensive reviews of the literature, and considered key concepts related to the chapter focus.
(...)The book effectively draws together ideas on the effect of disturbances on ecosystem and ecosystems processes on a global scale. Attention is given to the role of humans in generating disturbance, how disturbances created from a variety of sources impact human economic and social systems, and the ways in which humans react to these disturbances. Overall, the authors and editor should be complimented on producing a book that is global in coverage and will be useful to persons interested in the science of disturbed ecosystems and those actively involved in restoration and management of these systems. @source:Journal of Vegetation Science @from:F.M. Chambers @qu:...There is much here to inform teaching and learning, and numerous avenues of research to be explored further. It is a particularly valuable source-book on the subject of disturbance in ecosystems, and it contains some stimulating contributions. @source:Journal of Ecology (GB), Vol. 88 @from:W.H. Russell @qu:...This book is useful as a tool for exploring divergent points of view on basic ecological questions. It has great value as a reference on a variety of subjects related to ecological disturbance, and would be useful as a supplementary text for students studying environmental issues and basic ecology. @source:Madrono @from:L.R. Walker @qu:...A fine selection of papers that present an organized overview of both natural and anthropogenic disturbances of terrestrial and freshwater systems on a truly worldwide basis. @source:Northeastern Naturalist

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

L.R. Walker

Affiliations and Expertise

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