Resource that travels well

Introductory Ecology. First edition

May 30, 2003

Good introductory ecology texts are rare. They should stimulate further inquiry and should be topical, clear and exciting. They should be comprehensive enough to include the major principles without requiring further resources, yet should be well referenced. Examples should be relevant to the student's local environment, while reflecting biogeographical regions and world ecosystem types. Introductory Ecology comes close to satisfying all these requirements.

Ecology texts often fail to travel across the Atlantic, but this volume includes authors from the US and UK - and a breadth of relevant examples given in an American textbook style - and is in my view the best to be found outside Open University texts. Coverage is good, with a strong emphasis on biodiversity and evolutionary biology.

Simple, clear diagrams and a box format present special topics and worked examples sympathetically to non-specialists and beginners. Life tables, for example, are neither oversimplified nor impenetrable.

It is always possible to criticise omissions or undertreatment. In my opinion, ecosystem energy transfer deserves more space. It is also a shame not to bring the propagators of seminal ideas to life; where would plate tectonics be without Alfred Wegener?

Overall, this is a good introduction to what is acknowledged to be a complex subject.

Tony Andrew is lecturer in environmental science, University of Ulster, Coleraine.

 

Introductory Ecology. First edition

Author - Peter Cotgreave and
ISBN - 0 632 042 3
Publisher - Blackwell
Price - £21.95
Pages - 8

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Track runner slow off the starting blocks

Lack of independent working blamed for difficulties making the leap from undergraduate to doctoral work

Quality under magnifying glass

Hefce's new standards regime will enable universities to focus on what matters to students, says Susan Lapworth

A keyboard with a 'donate' key

Richard Budd mulls the logic of giving money to your alma mater

Long queue

Lobbying intensifies ahead of Lord Stern's review of crucial assessment into university research performance

Elly Walton illustration (21 April 2016)

Many Italians have refused to take part in the country’s research assessment exercise. Alberto Baccini and Giuseppe De Nicolao consider the protest’s impact