Please note: In order to keep Hive up to date and provide users with the best features, we are no longer able to fully support Internet Explorer. The site is still available to you, however some sections of the site may appear broken. We would encourage you to move to a more modern browser like Firefox, Edge or Chrome in order to experience the site fully.

Resolving Ecosystem Complexity (MPB-47), Paperback / softback Book

Resolving Ecosystem Complexity (MPB-47) Paperback / softback

Part of the Monographs in Population Biology series

Paperback / softback


An ecosystem's complexity develops from the vast numbers of species interacting in ecological communities.

The nature of these interactions, in turn, depends on environmental context.

How do these components together influence an ecosystem's behavior as a whole?

Can ecologists resolve an ecosystem's complexity in order to predict its response to disturbances?

Resolving Ecosystem Complexity develops a framework for anticipating the ways environmental context determines the functioning of ecosystems.

Oswald Schmitz addresses the critical questions of contemporary ecology: How should an ecosystem be conceptualized to blend its biotic and biophysical components?

How should evolutionary ecological principles be used to derive an operational understanding of complex, adaptive ecosystems?

How should the relationship between the functional biotic diversity of ecosystems and their properties be understood?

Schmitz begins with the universal concept that ecosystems are comprised of species that consume resources and which are then resources for other consumers. From this, he deduces a fundamental rule or evolutionary ecological mechanism for explaining context dependency: individuals within a species trade off foraging gains against the risk of being consumed by predators.

Through empirical examples, Schmitz illustrates how species use evolutionary ecological strategies to negotiate a predator-eat-predator world, and he suggests that the implications of species trade-offs are critical to making ecology a predictive science.

Bridging the traditional divides between individuals, populations, and communities in ecology, Resolving Ecosystem Complexity builds a systematic foundation for thinking about natural systems.


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also by Oswald J. Schmitz   |  View all

Also in the Monographs in Population Biology series   |  View all