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The Theory of Ecology [Hardcover]

Samuel M. Scheiner , Michael R. Willig
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 15, 2011 0226736857 978-0226736853

Despite claims to the contrary, the science of ecology has a long history of building theories. Many ecological theories are mathematical, computational, or statistical, though, and rarely have attempts been made to organize or extrapolate these models into broader theories. The Theory of Ecology brings together some of the most respected and creative theoretical ecologists of this era to advance a comprehensive, conceptual articulation of ecological theories. The contributors cover a wide range of topics, from ecological niche theory to population dynamic theory to island biogeography theory. Collectively, the chapters ably demonstrate how theory in ecology accounts for observations about the natural world and how models provide predictive understandings. It organizes these models into constitutive domains that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of ecological understanding. This book is a milestone in ecological theory and is certain to motivate future empirical and theoretical work in one of the most exciting and active domains of the life sciences.

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Editorial Reviews


“Scheiner and Willig have assembled a highly valuable compendium of reviews and perspectives on theoretical ecology, including contributions from many of the leaders in the field. This will undoubtedly provide grist for many undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as a stimulus to the whole field of ecology.”

(Simon A. Levin, Princeton University)

The Theory of Ecology provides a simple framework for interpreting the multifaceted role of theory in the field of ecology. This approach is unique, extremely brave, contentious at times, but definitely intriguing.”

(Kevin McCann, University of Guelph)

The Theory of Ecology will enliven the debate over what should encompass a general theory of ecology—and whether that is even possible.”


(Michael M. Fuller BioScience)

"[T]his volume signifies the maturation of ecological theory exploration. Highly recommended."

(F. N. Egerton Choice)

“The editors have put together a well-structured and comprehensible framework for organizing ecological theory. The contributing authors show how the framework, when applied to various theories, can help to clarify what a theory is all about.”


(Jonathan Borrelli Quarterly Review of Biology)

About the Author

Samuel M. Scheiner is a theoretical biologist and has been on the faculty of Northern Illinois University and Arizona State University. Michael R. Willig is professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, both at the University of Connecticut.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (July 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226736857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226736853
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,045,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars "The Theory of Ecology" really makes the point. January 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having my Doctorate in Vertebrate Zoology with an Emphasis in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, I tend to read books in the field with particular interest, and somewhat critically. Well written, Scheiner designs his outline, then stays on point throughout, while writing in a manner that is pleasant to visual ear, maintaining the reader's interest. Highly recommend.
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