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Maximum Entropy And Ecology

Author: John Harte
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191621161
Size: 63.47 MB
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This pioneering graduate textbook provides readers with the concepts and practical tools required to understand the maximum entropy principle, and apply it to an understanding of ecological patterns. Rather than building and combining mechanistic models of ecosystems, the approach is grounded in information theory and the logic of inference. Paralleling the derivation of thermodynamics from the maximum entropy principle, the state variable theory of ecology developed in this book predicts realistic forms for all metrics of ecology that describe patterns in the distribution, abundance, and energetics of species over multiple spatial scales, a wide range of habitats, and diverse taxonomic groups. The first part of the book is foundational, discussing the nature of theory, the relationship of ecology to other sciences, and the concept of the logic of inference. Subsequent sections present the fundamentals of macroecology and of maximum information entropy, starting from first principles. The core of the book integrates these fundamental principles, leading to the derivation and testing of the predictions of the maximum entropy theory of ecology (METE). A final section broadens the book's perspective by showing how METE can help clarify several major issues in conservation biology, placing it in context with other theories and highlighting avenues for future research.

Ecological And Evolutionary Modelling

Author: Cang Hui
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319921509
Size: 46.91 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Ecology studies biodiversity in its variety and complexity. It describes how species distribute and perform in response to environmental changes. Ecological processes and structures are highly complex and adaptive. In order to quantify emerging ecological patterns and investigate their hidden mechanisms, we need to rely on the simplicity of mathematical language. Ecological patterns are emerging structures observed in populations, communities and ecosystems. Elucidating drivers behind ecological patterns can greatly improve our knowledge of how ecosystems assemble, function and respond to change and perturbation. Mathematical ecology has, thus, become an important interdisciplinary research field that can provide answers to complex global issues, such as climate change and biological invasions. The aim of this book is to (i) introduce key concepts in ecology and evolution, (ii) explain classic and recent important mathematical models for investigating ecological and evolutionary dynamics, and (iii) provide real examples in ecology/biology/environmental sciences that have used these models to address relevant issues. Readers are exposed to the key concepts, frameworks, and terminology in the studies of ecology and evolution, which will enable them to ask the correct and relevant research questions, and frame the questions using appropriate mathematical models.

The Theory Of Ecological Communities Mpb 57

Author: Mark Vellend
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883792
Size: 19.19 MB
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A plethora of different theories, models, and concepts make up the field of community ecology. Amid this vast body of work, is it possible to build one general theory of ecological communities? What other scientific areas might serve as a guiding framework? As it turns out, the core focus of community ecology—understanding patterns of diversity and composition of biological variants across space and time—is shared by evolutionary biology and its very coherent conceptual framework, population genetics theory. The Theory of Ecological Communities takes this as a starting point to pull together community ecology's various perspectives into a more unified whole. Mark Vellend builds a theory of ecological communities based on four overarching processes: selection among species, drift, dispersal, and speciation. These are analogues of the four central processes in population genetics theory—selection within species, drift, gene flow, and mutation—and together they subsume almost all of the many dozens of more specific models built to describe the dynamics of communities of interacting species. The result is a theory that allows the effects of many low-level processes, such as competition, facilitation, predation, disturbance, stress, succession, colonization, and local extinction to be understood as the underpinnings of high-level processes with widely applicable consequences for ecological communities. Reframing the numerous existing ideas in community ecology, The Theory of Ecological Communities provides a new way for thinking about biological composition and diversity.

Evolutionary Biomechanics

Author: Graham Taylor
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191009288
Size: 56.37 MB
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Evolutionary biomechanics is the study of evolution through the analysis of biomechanical systems. Its unique advantage is the precision with which physical constraints and performance can be predicted from first principles. Instead of reviewing the entire breadth of the biomechanical literature, a few key examples are explored in depth as vehicles for discussing fundamental concepts, analytical techniques, and evolutionary theory. Each chapter develops a conceptual theme, developing the underlying theory and techniques required for analyses in evolutionary biomechanics. Examples from terrestrial biomechanics, metabolic scaling, and bird flight are used to analyse how physics constrains the design space that natural selection is free to explore, and how adaptive evolution finds solutions to the trade-offs between multiple complex conflicting performance objectives. Evolutionary Biomechanics is suitable for graduate level students and professional researchers in the fields of biomechanics, physiology, evolutionary biology and palaeontology. It will also be of relevance and use to researchers in the physical sciences and engineering.