The Message of Ecology, Charles J. Krebs
Ecology is a fascinating subject. This is a book to introduce you to it and the problems ecologists try to analyze. Above all it is an attempt to present the subject in a direct, simple form without including the detail that is necessary in a more conventional textbook and without burdening the subject with abstruse definitions or voluminous statistics. So do not view this book as a text but as supplemental reading designed for an introductory biology course or for a first course in ecology.
You can appreciate the beauty and the sweep of ecological insights without a great deal of complication because humans live in an ecological world where mosquitoes bite and trees die from acid rain. Some ecological insight ought to be in the repertoire of every educated person. Every day you can read about political decisions that have an ecological impact, positive or negative, and your children will inherit a world in which many ecological options are constrained by our present decisions. This book is dedicated to the proposition that you need to know some ecology, whether you are now or will be a lawyer, a bus driver, or a computer operator.
So read on! Each chapter ends with some suggestions for further readings should you want to study a topic in more detail. There is a glossary at the end of the book to define unfamiliar words.
I am grateful to Adam Watson and Robert Moss for their comments on the first draft of this book. Alice Kenney helped me survey the literature and prepare the text. Many unnamed ecologists did the research on which this book is based. Perhaps they should be honored as some of the unsung scientific heros of the twentieth century.Charles J. Krebs
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