Plant Disturbance Ecology

Plant Disturbance Ecology

The Process and the Response

1st Edition - March 13, 2007

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  • Editors: Edward Johnson, Kiyoko Miyanishi
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080492957

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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 Plant Disturbance Ecology, 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.

Key Features

  • Includes coverage on six different disturbance processes: Wind, Gravity, Geomorphic, Hydrologic, Combustion, and Biotic
  • Provides a clear explanation of how some of the physical processes of disturbance affect plant ecological processes
  • Offers ecologists an up-to-date understanding of the physical processes and allows them to predict future affects of disturbances
  • Unites two related fields by linking the disturbance processes and ecological responses
  • Presents physical scientists with ideas of how they might usefully apply their knowledge to advance understanding of ecological systems


Professionals, researchers and students interested in vegetation dynamics and plant community ecology. Likely those in biology, botany, and ecology departments.

Table of Contents

  • 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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 720
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2007
  • Published: March 13, 2007
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080492957

About the Editors

Edward Johnson

Edward A. Johnson is a Professor of Biological Sciences Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Calgary, Canada and up until June 2018, he was also the Director of the Biogeoscience Institute. His research interests are wildfires, avalanches, hillslope and fluvial geomorphic processes, climate, landuse, and other processes as they affect tree populations. He is particularly interested in the explicit coupling of the physical processes to ecological processes. He has over 114 publications and 4,693 total citations.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Biological Sciences Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Calgary, Canada

Kiyoko Miyanishi

Kiyoko Miyanishi is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph, having retired in 2005. She has edited 2 books, written 11 book chapters and has over 30 publications and 1,200 citations.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

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