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1 Burnside Environmental Studies- Ecology

This title in other editions

Global Ecology in Human Perspective


Global Ecology in Human Perspective Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Written by a well-known ecologist with more than forty years of scientific field work on six continents, this book deals with the ecology of planet earth, focusing on the condition of the global environment and the quality of human life. The author describes the scope and meaning of global ecology and gives a brief review of ecological principles relevant to global concerns. The work concentrates on how we as humans affect global ecosystems and how these changes impact our health, behavior, economics, and politics. Specific sections address the ecological components of planet earth, the biosphere, ecosystem ecology, worldwide environmental trends, and the state of human populations. Other chapters deal with competition and conflict, the ecology of war, an agenda for survival, sustainability, and future prospects.

Accessible to undergraduates, students in adult and professional education, and general readers, this unique work gives a broader definition of our environment than conventional ecology books, emphasizing economic and social dimensions of the global environment. It covers diverse viewpoints, including good news and favorable trends regarding the future, and helps readers think about current ecological problems and those we will face in the future. It discusses how to relate facts and beliefs, how to assess outcomes, and, finally, how me might view and treat the one world in which we live.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. The Meaning and Scope of Global Ecology

A Few Basic Definitions

The Environment

Planet Earth in the Universe

Summary and References

Chapter 2. Properties and Components of Planet Earth

The Lithosphere or Geosphere

The Hydrosphere

The Atmosphere

Atmospheric Weather


The Biosphere

Component Interactions

Chapter 3. The Biosphere

Extent of the Biosphere

Functional Properties of the Biosphere

Environmental Buffering and Homeostasis

The Gaia Hypothesis


Chapter 4. Ecological Principles: Ecosystems

Some Basic Principles of Ecology

Ecosystem Structure

Abiotic Substances

Producer Organisms

Consumer Organisms

Decomposer Organisms and Detritivores

Incomplete Ecosystems

Cybernetic Control in Ecosystems

Systems Analysis and Modeling in Ecology

Chapter 5. Ecosystem Organization and Function

The Hydrologic Cycle

The Carbon Cycle

The Nitrogen Cycle

The Phosphorus Cycle

The Sulfur Cycle

Chapter 6. Energy Flow and Trophic Structure

The Source of Energy

Food Chains and Trophic Structure

Ecologic Pyramids

Ecologic Efficiencies

Energy and Human Activities

Chapter 7. Ecosystem Homeostasis, Succession and Stability


Homeostasis in Ecosystems

Global Implications of Ecosystem Homeostasis

Trophic Structure and Ecosystem Stability

Ecosystem Development and Succession

The Conservation of Diversity

The Controversy over Old-Growth Forests


Chapter 8. Our Global Condition: A Clash of Concepts

Global 2000

Opponents of Global 2000


Chapter 9. Global Change and Development

Human Modification of the Earth

Sustainable Development

Implications of Sustainable Development

Chapter 10. Land Degradation

The Loss of Functional Landscape

Erosion in Developing Countries

Other Forms of Land Degradation

The Positive Side of Land Modification

Chapter 11. Desertification

Definitions and Categories of Deserts

Natural Deserts

Anthropogenic Deserts

The Extent of Deserts and Desertification

Desertification in the Sahel

Desertification in the United States

Chapter 12. Deforestation

The Extent of Forest Ecosystems

The Ecological Role of Forests

Forest Types

Tropical Forests

Temperate Deforestation

Causes of Deforestation

The Role of Forests in Global Ecology

What Can Be Done?

Chapter 13. Historical Aspects of Environmental Destruction

The Ecological Relationships of Hunter-Gatherers

The Domestication of Plants and Animals

The Rise of Agriculture

Civilizations of the Middle East

Relevance of Environmental History to Modern Problems

North Africa and the Mediterranean

Environmental Destruction in Other Parts of the World

Chapter 14. Population Ecology

Basic Population Biology

Patterns of Population Change

Growth Patterns

Malthusian Growth

Logistic Growth

Reproductive Patterns: "r" and "K" Selection

Density-Dependent and Density-Independent Factors

Chapter 15. Human Populations

Why Is Human Population Growth Occurring?

Where is World Population Growth Occurring?

Urban Growth

Future Prospects

Population Modeling

Governmental Responses

Chapter 16. World Food Supplies

Magnitude of the Problem

The Consequences of Food Shortages

A Brief History of Famine

World Food Production and Human Population Growth Since 1950

The Green Revolution

Risks of the Green Revolution

Regional Successes and Failures of the Green Revolution

The Future of World Agriculture

Recent Trends

Food From the Oceans

Chapter 17. Air Pollution

Sources of Air Pollution

Types of Air Pollution

Other Ways of Classifying Air Pollution

Human Interest Box

Environmental Influences on Air Pollution

Ecological Effects of Air Pollution

Effects on Natural Ecosystems

Effects on Agroecosystems

Effects on Human Health

Effects on Materials

Control of Air Pollution

Trends in Air Pollution

Chapter 18. Weather and Climate Change

Forces for Warming: The Greenhouse Effect

Is Global Warming a Reality?

Forces for Global Cooling

Atmospheric Turbidity

Forces in Conflict


Chapter 19. Water Pollution and Ocean Ecology

Classifying Water Pollution

Other Ways of Classifying Water Pollution

Coastal and Oceanic Pollution

The Extent of the Oceans

Ocean Productivity

Further Evidence of Deterioration in Marine Ecosystems

Are the Oceans in Jeopardy?

Chapter 20. The Crisis in Biodiversity

What Is a Species?

The Measurement of Diversity

Statistical Representations of Diversity

Patterns of Biodiversity

Why Are There so Many Species?

Human Impacts on Biodiversity

Is There a Crisis in Biodiversity?

Does Diversity Make Any Difference?

Biodiversity and Human Food Supplies

The Role of Biodiversity in Forestry and Environmental Restoration

Biodiversity and the Energy Industry

Biodiversity and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

How Many Species Does the Earth Really Need?

Diversity and Stability


Chapter 21. The Human Condition: Economics, Demography, and Health

Ecology and World Health

The Problem of Disparity

Economic Disparities

Disparities in the Quality of Life

The Poverty Gap

Chapter 22. Global Patterns of Health

Industrial High-Income Nations

Developing Low-Income Nations

Implications for Public Health

Human Immune Viruses and AIDS

Convergence in World Health Patterns

Chapter 23. Competition and Conflict

Competition and Evolution

Forms of Competition

Interspecific Competition

Competition and Cooperation

The Severity of Competition

Communication or Violence?

Hierarchies and Territories

Animal Violence

Human Aggression

Violence in America

Chapter 24. The Ecology of War

The Causes of War

A Brief Environmental History of War

Environmental Aspects of War in the Twentieth Century

The Persian Gulf

Nuclear War

Nuclear Winter

The Cold War

Indirect Costs of Conflict

Signs of Progress

Chapter 25. Sustainability

History and Definitions

Facing the Facts

Is Sustainability Possible?

Sustainability in Natural Ecosystems

Human-Dominated Ecosystems

Criteria for Sustainability

Restoration Ecology

Goals of Restoration

The Bottom Line

Chapter 26. Assessment and Agenda

The World According to Ecology

A Brief Review of the Ecological Evidence

The World According to Entrepreneurial Economics

A Brief Review of the Positive Evidence

An Agenda for Planet Earth

Ecological Priorities

Professional Responsibilities

Personal Responsibilities

Chapter 27. Prognosis

Threats to Progress

What is Needed?





Each chapter ends with a summary and references

Product Details

Southwick, Charles H.
Oxford University Press
Southwick, Charles H.
null, Charles H.
New York :
Environmental Science
Human Geography
Life Sciences - Ecology
Environmental sciences
Environmental Studies-General
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
99 illus.
9.22x6.13x.75 in. 1.27 lbs.

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