Skip to main content

Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology

  • Textbook
  • © 2011
  • Latest edition


  • This is the second edition of the bestselling textbook Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology
  • Brings new expertise in many of the conceptual advances in ecosystem ecology, including the interactions among element cycles, the scaling of ecosystem processes in space and time, and effects of global human actions on the biosphere
  • Highlights new ideas, information, citations, and appropriate figures to accommodate advances that have occurred since the first edition

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this book

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

eBook USD 99.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book USD 129.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 179.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

About this book

Ecosystem ecology regards living organisms, including people, and the elements of their environment as components of a single integrated system. The comprehensive coverage in this textbook examines the central processes at work in terrestrial ecosystems, including their freshwater components. It traces the flow of energy, water, carbon, and nutrients from their abiotic origins to their cycles through plants, animals, and decomposer organisms. As well as detailing the processes themselves, the book goes further to integrate them at various scales of magnitude—those of the ecosystem, the wider landscape and the globe. It synthesizes recent advances in ecology with established and emerging ecosystem theory to offer a wide-ranging survey of ecosystem patterns and processes in our terrestrial environment.

Featuring review questions at the end of each chapter, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary of ecological terms, Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology is a vitally relevant text suitable for study in all courses in ecosystem ecology. Resource managers and researchers in many fields will welcome its thorough presentation of ecosystem essentials.   

Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Context

  2. Mechanisms

  3. Patterns

  4. Integration


Reviews of the first edition:

"This textbook includes 16 chapters, each ending with a summary, review questions and references to additional readings. … It is especially characterized by the great importance (250 pp.) which is attributed to abiotic aspects of ecosystem ecology and to production processes as well as nutrient cycling … . All these chapters are structured in an excellent and well organized way. … Altogether, the authors have well succeeded in writing a comprehensive textbook, mainly for graduate students." (Angelika Schwabe, Phytocoenologia, Vol. 34 (3), 2004)

"This comprehensive textbook outlines the central processes that characterize terrestrial ecosystems, tracing the flow of water, carbon, and nutrients from their abiotic origins to their cycles through plants, animals, and decomposer organisms. … This book synthesizes current advances in ecology with established theory to offer a complete survey of ecosystem pattern and process in the terrestrial environment. … suitable for use in all courses on ecosystem ecology. Resource managers, land use managers, and researchers will also welcome its thorough presentation of ecosystem essentials." (Ethology, Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 15 (4), 2003)

From the reviews of the second edition:

“An outstanding textbook which, after definitions, sets the stage with primers on Earth’s climate system and geological processes. What follows is a magisterial and comprehensive account of the movements of water, energy, carbon and nutrients though natural systems. … authors delve into the finer detail and explain how biological processes can have important modulating effects through space and time. … The book is well written throughout and punctuated with excellent colour illustrations; no-one from undergraduates to established researchers can fail to learn something from it.” (Frontiers of Biogeography, Vol. 3 (3), 2011)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Institute of Arctic Biology Department of Biology & Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, USA

    F. Stuart Chapin

  • School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, USA

    Pamela A. Matson

  • Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, USA

    Peter M. Vitousek

About the authors

F. Stuart Chapin, III is an ecosystem ecologist whose research addresses the sustainability of ecosystems and human communities in a rapidly changing planet. This work emphasizes the impacts of climate change on Alaskan ecology, subsistence resources, and indigenous communities, as a basis for developing climate-change adaptation plans. Pamela Matson is dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, USA. She previously worked at NASA and at the University of California Berkeley. Her professional titles at Stanford are Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, and Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies. Peter Vitousek is at the forefront of research on biological diversity, his research focus is Hawaii. His Stanford Lab is studying nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems as well as the effects of invasions by exotic species.   

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology

  • Authors: F. Stuart Chapin, Pamela A. Matson, Peter M. Vitousek

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer New York, NY

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2011

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4419-9503-2Published: 01 September 2011

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-4419-9502-5Published: 01 September 2011

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4419-9504-9Published: 02 September 2011

  • Edition Number: 2

  • Number of Pages: XV, 529

  • Number of Illustrations: 202 b/w illustrations, 48 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Ecology, Terrestial Ecology, Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Plant Ecology

Publish with us