An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology uses a combination of visual presentations and the symbolic logic of algebra and calculus to provide the most accessible introduction to ecological theory available. It gives students the basic tools they need to understand the complexities of ecological systems and to analyze simple quantitative ecological problems. The author walks students through the most common models in ecology, beginning with first principles and then gently making each formulation accessible through a step-by-step development of equations paired with lavish illustrations. He also applies theoretical developments to practical issues in conservation and resource management, offering a more visceral understanding of the purpose and utility of the theory and demonstrating how it may need modification in its application to real-world problems and future directions. The text also includes some basic ecological genetics and an exploration of metapopulation dynamics.
An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology is enhanced by over 500 two-color diagrams, many end-of-chapter problems, and a website that includes simulation models that parallel each chapters development (http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/BookCase). Ideal as a main text for advanced undergraduate courses in theoretical and mathematical ecology or conservation biology, this unique book can also serve as a supplement or a self-guided tutorial in general ecology, population ecology, and community ecology courses.
Ted Case, a distinguished theoretical ecologist and professor of biology at the University of California at San Diego, has written the most recent textbook to serve this market. It is by far the most attractive book yet, and readily earns its title of being an Illustrated Guide.
The book is not only replete with pictures. It offers rigorous derivations of the models and theorems in theoretical ecology, using all the usual mathematics from calculus, linear algebra and differential equations.
All in all, the Illustrated Guide is an accessible and thorought text. It is a welcome addition to the book list for theoretical ecology.