About this book
This is an inadvertent book, though it did arise naturally enough from a course I give in theoretical ecology. But I wouldn't have given the course at all if one colleague in my department hadn't left for a leave of absence, while another abruptly resigned. This propelled me to the fore where this teaching responsibility was concerned, one I had never had any intention of discharging. Then it turned out that one of my students was regularly unable to make half the classes. As a result, I began giving him my lecture notes each week. As I knew that someone else would be reading them, I began to write my notes more carefully. Naturally enough, the other students soon began to demand the notes too. Eventually they were indulged. Thus I found myself writing a textbook manuscript. By the next year, the students were handed all their notes in one package at the outset. But these were still just hand-written. Inevitably, the demand that they be typed arose. This I didn't want to do until I found a publisher. As it turned out, Tim Hardwick of Croom Helm was willing to have his firm fill this role, to my great satisfaction. • and his considerable frustration. I have been a desultory author about producing this final text, and can only express my gratitude for his enduring patience over more than 18 months of delays.
complexity ecology ecosystem ecosystem dynamics growth stability symbiosis theoretical ecology