The new Third Edition of Ecology remains focused on the primary goal of this bestselling book: to be the best teaching tool possible for students taking their first course in ecology. Toward that end, the authors updated, replaced, or cut sections of the text as appropriate, and they added a new chapter on Behavioral Ecology, an exciting and growing subfield of ecology that always draws high levels of student interest. In addition, recognizing the importance of hands-on learning, each chapter now includes new Analyzing Data exercises in which students work with real data. These exercises enable students to increase their facility with essential skills such as performing calculations, making graphs, designing experiments, and interpreting results. The authors also revised and strengthened key pedagogical features of Ecology, including:
This popular feature of the Companion Website is designed to sharpen scientific reasoning skills. Students are asked to manipulate data, to explore mathematical aspects of ecology in more detail through quantitative problems, to interpret results from real experiments, and to analyze simple model systems using simulations.
Chapter-opening Case Studies present an engaging story or interesting application, capturing the readers attention while introducing the topic of the chapter. Later, the authors bring the reader full circle with the corresponding Case Study Revisited section at chapters end.
Connections in Nature
To facilitate the ability of students to grasp how events in nature are interconnected, each chapter closes with a section that discusses how the material covered in that chapter affects and is affected by interactions at other levels of the ecological hierarchy. Where appropriate, these interconnections are also emphasized in the main body of the text.
Recent years have seen increased interest in applied aspects of ecology. Thus, ecological applications (including conservation biology) are woven into each chapter, helping to capture and retain student interest.
Links to Evolution
Evolution is a central unifying theme of all biology, and its connections with ecology are very strong. Ecologys Chapter 6 explores the ecology of evolution at both the population level and as documented in the sweeping history of life on Earth. Evolution-related concepts and applications are also woven through many other chapters.
Many chapters include an Ecological Toolkit that describes ecological tools such as aspects of experimental design, remote sensing and GIS, markrecapture techniques, stable isotope analysis, and DNA fingerprinting.
Climate Change Connections
Many of Ecologys chapters include a major climate change example, with additional content on the Companion Website. These Climate Change Connections discuss how the example students just read about connects to other levels of the ecological hierarchy and enrich students understanding of ongoing climate change and its implications for conservation and ecosystem services.
These ready-to-go problems take about ten minutes to do and can be used in class or assigned as homework.