Charles Elton was one of the founders of ecology, and his Animal Ecology was one of the seminal works that defined the field. In this book Elton introduced and drew together many principles still central to ecology today, including succession, niche, food webs, and the links between communities and ecosystems, each of which he illustrated with well-chosen examples. Many of Elton's ideas have proven remarkably prescient—for instance, his emphasis on the role climatic changes play in population fluctuations anticipated recent research in this area stimulated by concerns about global warming.
For Chicago's reprint of this classic work, ecologists Mathew A. Leibold and J. Timothy Wootton have provided new introductions to each chapter, placing Elton's ideas in historical and scientific context. They trace modern developments in each of the key themes Elton introduced, and provide references to the most current literature. The result will be an important work for ecologists interested in the roots of their discipline, for educated readers looking for a good overview of the field, and for historians of science.
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abundance adaptive animal communities animal ecology aphids arctic arctic fox become biology birds breeding British carnivores caused changes chapter climate community ecology copepods crustacea cycles diagram Diaptomus dispersal distribution dynamics Ecol ecological succession ecologists ecosystems effects Elton enemies environment epidemic Eurytemora evolution example existence fact fauna feeding field fluctuations in numbers food web food webs food-chains food-cycle food-supply fresh-water gradients habitat habits herbivorous host Hymenoptera idea important increase insects interactions island Lake Victoria large numbers larvae latter Leibold lemming limiting factors living London mammals methods mice migration natural history natural selection niche night numbers of animals occur owing parasites physiology plague plankton plant communities ponds population possible predators prey probably problem protozoa rabbits reason rodents smaller species Spitsbergen spread stage tion trophic usually variations various vast numbers vegetation weather wood zones