Ecological Systems

Selected Entries from the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

  • Rik Leemans

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Rik Leemans
    Pages 1-6
  3. Natalie M. Mahowald
    Pages 7-29
  4. Herman H. (Hank) Shugart
    Pages 31-57
  5. Sanne de Visser, Elisa Thébault, Peter C. de Ruiter
    Pages 59-68
  6. Brian D. Fath
    Pages 69-80
  7. Heather Tallis, Anne Guerry, Gretchen C. Daily
    Pages 81-100
  8. Patrick M. A. James, Marie-Josée Fortin
    Pages 101-124
  9. Craig R. Allen, Joseph J. Fontaine, Ahjond S. Garmestani
    Pages 125-146
  10. Salit Kark
    Pages 147-160
  11. Anthony Ricciardi
    Pages 161-178
  12. Jianguo (Jingle) Wu
    Pages 179-200
  13. Walker O. Smith Jr., Eileen E. Hofmann, Anna Mosby
    Pages 201-221
  14. Peter Chesson
    Pages 223-256
  15. Jonathan E. M. Baillie, Karolyn Upham
    Pages 257-271
  16. S. T. A. Pickett, M. L. Cadenasso
    Pages 273-301
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 303-309

About this book


Earth is home to an estimated 8 million animal species, 600,000 fungi, 300,000 plants, and an undetermined number of microbial species.  Of these animal, fungal, and plant species, an estimated 75% have yet to be identified.  Moreover, the interactions between these species and their physical environment are known to an even lesser degree.  At the same time, the earth’s biota faces the prospect of climate change, which may manifest slowly or extremely rapidly, as well as a human population set to grow by two billion by 2045 from the current seven billion.  Given these major ecological changes, we cannot wait for a complete biota data set before assessing, planning, and acting to preserve the ecological balance of the earth.  This book provides comprehensive coverage of the scientific and engineering basis of the systems ecology of the earth in 15 detailed, peer-reviewed entries written for a broad audience of undergraduate and graduate students as well as  practicing professionals in government, academia, and industry.  The methodology presented aims at identifying key interactions and environmental effects, and enabling a systems-level understanding even with  our present state of factual knowledge.

Features authoritative, peer-reviewed entries from the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Covers topics ranging from atmospheric biogeochemistry to invasive species, ecosystem services, and urban ecology

Provides an ecological systems perspective on the vital question of how to cope with climate change and the global human population explosion

Includes a glossary of key terms and a concise definition of the subject for each contribution


Atmospheric Biogeochemistry Ecological Gradients Ecological Succession Ecological Systems Ecological Systems Sustainability Ecosystem Flow Analysis Ecosystem Services Ecosystems Adaptive Management Ecosystems Spatial Patterns Ecotones Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology Invasive Species Landscape Ecology Sustainability Urban Ecology Sustainability

Editors and affiliations

  • Rik Leemans
    • 1
  1. 1., Environmental Systems Analysis GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenNetherlands

Bibliographic information