This introductory general ecology text features a strong emphasis on helping students grasp the main concepts of ecology while keeping the presentation more applied than theoretical. An evolutionary perspective forms the foundation of the entire discussion.
The text begins with a brief introduction to the nature and history of the discipline of ecology, followed by Section I, which includes two chapters on natural history--life on land and life in water. The material up to this point establishes a common foundation of natural history upon which to base later discussions of ecological concepts. The introduction and natural history chapters may be assigned as background reading, leaving 17 chapters to cover in a one-semester course. The rest of the sections build a hierarchical perspective: Section II concerns the ecology of individuals: Section III focuses on population ecology; Section IV presents the ecology of interactions; Section V summarizes community and ecosystem ecology; and finally, Section VI discusses large-scale ecology and includes chapters on landscape, geographic, and global ecology.