Quaternary Ecology, Evolution, and Biogeography

Quaternary Ecology, Evolution, and Biogeography

1st Edition - March 5, 2020

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  • Author: Valenti Rull
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128204733
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128204740

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Quaternary Ecology, Evolution, and Biogeography offers an introduction to the study of the ecological and evolutionary processes that have shaped our present biosphere under the influence of glacial-interglacial cycles. Written by an ecologist with paleoecological expertise, this book reviews the climactic changes that have occurred during the last 2.6 million years, along with the responses of organisms and ecosystems. It offers an understanding of the evolutionary origin of extant biodiversity, its biogeographical patterns, and the composition of modern ecological communities. In addition, it explores human evolution and the influence of our activities on the biosphere, especially in the last millennia.This book offers the latest information on how studying the past can contribute to our understanding of present climate issues for a better future, and is an ideal resource for researchers and students in the natural sciences.

Key Features

  • Includes the latest developments in genomics and their relevance within Quaternary evolution
  • Offers a holistic view of the origin of biodiversity patterns and community assembly
  • Discusses the role of climate on human evolution and the ecological consequences for natural systems


Researchers and academics in evolutionary biology, ecology/paleoecology, and paleoclimatology; advanced undergraduate and graduate students in evolutionary biology or evolution or ecological or ecosystem studies

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Aims and scope
  • Cyclical and directional phenomena
  • Ecology and paleoecology
  • Audience and approach
  • Book plan
  • Selected books and journals on Quaternary science
  • Books
  • Journals
  • Chapter one. Climate: continuous variability and its impact on the Earth System
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • 1.1 Some notions of paleoclimatology
  • 1.2 Quaternary climatic variability
  • 1.3 Synthesis: unpredictable complexity
  • References
  • Chapter two. Organisms: adaption, extinction, and biogeographical reorganizations
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • 2.1 How do species respond to climatic changes?
  • 2.2 Biotic responses to the climatic changes of the Quaternary
  • 2.3 Synthesis: more complexity, idiosyncrasy, and geographical shifts
  • References
  • Chapter three. Biodiversity: diversification or impoverishment?
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • 3.1 What is biodiversity and how does it originate?
  • 3.2 Latitudinal gradients of biodiversity
  • 3.3 The molecular revolution
  • 3.4 Heterodox theories of diversification
  • 3.5 Quaternary evolution
  • 3.6 Synthesis: net diversification
  • References
  • Chapter four. Communities: adjustments, innovations, and revolutions
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • 4.1 Long-term ecology
  • 4.2 Succession and community assembly
  • 4.3 Stability, resilience, and domains of attraction
  • 4.4 Quaternary community ecology
  • 4.5 Recent developments
  • 4.6 Synthesis: “everything flows; nothing remains”
  • References
  • Chapter five. Humans: occupation and humanization of the planet
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • 5.1 Human evolution
  • 5.2 The Holocene and the Neolithic Revolution
  • 5.3 From one revolution to another; the last 5000 years
  • 5.4 The Industrial Revolution and the Great Acceleration
  • 5.5 Synthesis: a humble origin but limitless ambition
  • References
  • Chapter six. The future: natural cycles and human interference
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • 6.1 Will we disrupt natural variability?
  • 6.2 A natural end to the planet’s destruction
  • 6.3 The “Anthropocene”
  • 6.4 Synthesis: between science fiction and the “Anthropocene”
  • References
  • Epilogue
  • The missing link between ecology and evolution
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 278
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: March 5, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128204733
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128204740

About the Author

Valenti Rull

Valentí Rull is a biologist with a PhD in paleoecology (1990). He is a Tenured Scientist of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) at the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Barcelona. He uses paleocological evidence to study the type and characteristics of biotic responses to environmental shifts, the natural and anthropogenic drivers of ecological change and the role of tectonics and environmental change on the origin of biodiversity. He also works on the contribution of paleoecology to biodiversity conservation. Dr. Rull has conducted his research on several temperate (Pyrenees, Azores Islands), tropical (Andes, Orinoco delta, Maracaibo basin, Gran Sabana, Pantepui) and subtropical (Easter Island) regions.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Scientist, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Barcelona, Spain

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