Cover image for Evolutionary ecology
Evolutionary ecology
Pianka, Eric R.
Personal Author:
Sixth edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Benjamin Cummings, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 512 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH541 .P5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This classic text presents a unique evolutionary approach to ecology. The entire text has been improved, updated, and extensively reorganized and a new chapter (16) has been added. The Sixth Edition reflects the extent to which humans now dominate ecosystems, with anthropogenic (human) effects interwoven into every chapter.

Author Notes

Eric R. Pianka was born in Hilt, California on 23 January 1939. Pianka earned a B. A. from Carleton College in 1960, a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1965, and the D. Sc. degree or his collected works in 1990 from the University of Western Australia. He was a postdoctoral with Robert H. MacArthur at Princeton University during 1966-68. He is currently the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor of Zoology at the University of Texas in Austin, where he has taught evolutionary ecology since 1968.

Pianka was Managing Editor of the American Naturalist from 1971 - 1974, and was on the editorial boards of the American Naturalist , BioScience , National Geographic Research , and Research and Exploration . He has presented hundreds of invited lectures at most of the world's major academic institutions as well as a plenary lecture on the state of the art of community ecology at the First World Congress of Herpetology in 1989. During his 30+ year academic career, Eric Pianka published more than a hundred scientific papers, four of which became "Citation Classics," as well as dozens of invited articles, book chapters, and a dozen books including an autobiography. His textbook Evolutionary Ecology , first published in 1974 and currently in its fifth edition, has been translated into Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish and is currently being translated into Chinese and Italian. Consult his home page for further details.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xii
1 Backgroundp. 1
Scaling in Biologyp. 1
Scientific Methods and Human Knowledgep. 2
Domain of Ecology: Definitions and Groundworkp. 5
The Urgency of Basic Ecological Researchp. 8
Natural Selectionp. 10
Levels of Approach in Biologyp. 12
Debates and Progress in Ecologyp. 13
2 History and Biogeographyp. 16
Self-Replicating Molecular Assemblagesp. 16
The Geological Pastp. 17
Classical Biogeographyp. 22
Continental Driftp. 24
3 Meteorologyp. 29
Earth's Physical Environmentp. 29
Major Determinants of Climatep. 30
Local Perturbationsp. 35
Variations in Time and Spacep. 37
Global Weather Modificationp. 42
4 Climate and Vegetationp. 48
Plant Life Forms and Biomesp. 48
Microclimatep. 49
Primary Production and Evapotranspirationp. 53
Soil Formation and Primary Successionp. 58
Ecotones and Vegetational Continuap. 61
Classification of Natural Communitiesp. 63
Aquatic Ecosystemsp. 65
5 Resource Acquisition and Allocationp. 70
Limiting Factors and Tolerance Curvesp. 70
Resource Budgets and the Principle of Allocationp. 72
Time, Matter, and Energy Budgetsp. 73
Leaf Tacticsp. 75
Foraging Tactics and Feeding Efficiencyp. 78
Physiological Ecologyp. 83
Physiological Optima and Tolerance Curvesp. 84
Energetics of Metabolism and Movementp. 86
Adaptation and Deterioration of Environmentp. 90
Heat Budgets and Thermal Ecologyp. 93
Water Economy in Desert Organismsp. 97
Other Limiting Materialsp. 98
Sensory Capacities and Environmental Cuesp. 99
Adaptive Suitesp. 100
Design Constraintsp. 103
6 Rules of Inheritancep. 110
Basic Mendelian Geneticsp. 110
Nature versus Nurturep. 115
Selfish Genesp. 116
Population Geneticsp. 117
Maintenance of Variabilityp. 118
Units of Selectionp. 120
Genetic Engineeringp. 122
7 Evolution and Natural Selectionp. 124
Agents of Evolutionp. 124
Types of Natural Selectionp. 124
Ecological Geneticsp. 126
Allopatric and Sympatric Speciationp. 127
Reproductive Isolating Mechanismsp. 128
Galapagos Finchesp. 129
8 Vital Statistics of Populationsp. 134
Individuals Versus Populationsp. 134
Life Tables and Tables of Reproductionp. 135
Net Reproductive Rate and Reproductive Valuep. 142
Stable Age Distributionp. 147
Leslie Matricesp. 148
Intrinsic Rate of Natural Increasep. 150
Demographic and Environmental Stochasticityp. 153
Evolution of Reproductive Tacticsp. 154
Reproductive Effortp. 155
Expenditure per Progenyp. 160
Patterns in Avian Clutch Sizesp. 163
Evolution of Death Rates and Old Agep. 169
Joint Evolution of Rates of Reproduction and Mortalityp. 171
9 Population Growth and Regulationp. 177
Verhulst-Pearl Logistic Equationp. 177
Derivation of the Logistic Equationp. 182
Density Dependence and Density Independencep. 182
Opportunistic versus Equilibrium Populationsp. 184
Population Regulationp. 188
Population "Cycles": Cause and Effectp. 193
10 Socialityp. 200
Use of Space: Home Range and Territorialityp. 200
Sexp. 203
Sex Ratiop. 207
Sexual Selection and Mating Systemsp. 211
Fitness and an Individual's Status in Its Populationp. 220
Social Behavior and Kin Selectionp. 220
The Evolution of Self-Deceiptp. 225
11 Interactions Between Populationsp. 228
Direct Interactionsp. 228
Complex Population Interactionsp. 229
Mutualistic Interactions and Symbiotic Relationshipsp. 231
Indirect Interactionsp. 236
12 Competitionp. 240
Mechanisms of Competitionp. 240
Lotka-Volterra Competition Equationsp. 241
Competitive Exclusionp. 248
Balance Between Intraspecific and Interspecific Competitionp. 249
Evolutionary Consequences of Competitionp. 252
Laboratory Experimentsp. 252
Evidence from Naturep. 254
Other Prospectsp. 264
13 The Ecological Nichep. 267
History and Definitionsp. 267
The Hypervolume Modelp. 269
Niche Overlap and Competitionp. 271
Niche Dynamicsp. 274
Niche Dimensionalityp. 275
Niche Breadthp. 279
Evolution of Nichesp. 289
14 Experimental Ecologyp. 294
Design of Experimentsp. 294
Ecological Experimentsp. 294
A Defaunation Experimentp. 299
15 Predation and Parasitismp. 302
Predationp. 302
Predator-Prey Oscillationsp. 304
"Prudent" Predation and Optimal Yieldp. 312
Selected Experiments and Observationsp. 313
Evolutionary Consequences: Prey Escape Tacticsp. 315
Parasitismp. 322
Epidemiologyp. 326
Darwinian Medicinep. 328
Coevolutionp. 329
16 Phylogenetics in Ecologyp. 337
Phylogenetic Systematicsp. 337
Vicariance Biogeographyp. 338
Phylogeny and the Modern Comparative Methodp. 338
Phylogenetically Independent Contrastsp. 340
Evolutionary Ecomorphologyp. 341
17 Community and Ecosystem Ecologyp. 345
Systems and Macrodescriptorsp. 345
Systems Ecologyp. 347
Compartmentationp. 348
The Community Matrixp. 352
Biogeochemical Cycles in Ecosystemsp. 355
Principles of Thermodynamicsp. 356
Pyramids of Energy, Numbers, and Biomassp. 358
Energy Flow and Ecological Energeticsp. 359
Secondary Successionp. 363
Evolutionary Convergence and Ecological Equivalencep. 366
Community Evolutionp. 368
Pseudocommunitiesp. 369
Landscape Ecology and Macroecologyp. 379
18 Biodiversity and Community Stabilityp. 388
Saturation with Individuals and with Speciesp. 388
Species Diversityp. 390
Latitudinal Gradients in Diversityp. 394
Types of Stabilityp. 403
Community Stabilityp. 406
19 Island Biogeography and Conservation Biologyp. 413
Species-Area Relationshipsp. 414
Equilibrium Theory of Island Biogeographyp. 416
Islands as Ecological Experiments: Some Examplesp. 420
The Taxon Cyclep. 422
Experimental Biogeographyp. 424
Conservation Biologyp. 424
Referencesp. 431
Indexp. 505