Issues of scale have become increasingly important to ecologists. This book addresses the structure of regional (large-scale) ecological assemblages or communities, and the influence this has at a local (small-scale) level. This macroecological perspective is essential for the broader study of ecology because the structure and function of local communities cannot be properly understood without reference to the region in which they are situated.
The book reviews and synthesizes the issues of current importance in macroecology, providing a balanced summary of the field that will be useful for biologists at advanced undergraduate level and above. These general issues are illustrated by frequent reference to specific well-studied local and regional assemblages -- an approach that serves to relate the macroecological perspective (which is perhaps often difficult to comprehend) to the everyday experience of local sites.
Macroecology is an expanding and dynamic discipline. The broad aim of the book is to promote an understanding of why it is such an important part of the wider program of research into ecology.
- Summarises the current macroecological literature.
- Provides numerous examples of key patterns.
- Explicitly links local and regional scale processes.
- Exploits detailed knowledge of one species assemblage to explore broad issues in the structuring of biodiversity.
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