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Modelling Fluctuating Populations [Paperback]

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Item description for Modelling Fluctuating Populations by R. M. Nisbet...

From the foreword to this 2004 reprinting:

"In the Introduction to Modelling Fluctuating Populations, published in 1982, we characterized the state-of-the-art in theoretical ecology as being that "at present we can make quantitative, testable models only of laboratory systems which are themselves caricatures of reality." This unattractive situation no longer holds, as ecological theory has made spectacular advances over the past two decades. Thanks to new approaches to modelling, and to advances in time series analysis, mechanistically based models are now well-established tools for elucidating the dynamics of natural populations.

So why reprint a 20-year old book?

The primary reason is that the book takes a distinctive approach to population dynamics, by emphasizing from the earliest chapters that all populations fluctuate continuously. Traditional themes in theoretical ecology such as equilibrium and population stability are linked to analyses of the response of a population to environmental fluctuations and to extinction probabilities. Thus, the book's approach confronts head-on one common criticism of simple ecological models -- the mismatch between the mathematical mechanisms studied and the questions of top ecological concern.

Second, the book demonstrates the power of techniques based on linear mathematics. It has become fashionable to emphasize the importance of nonlinearity in ecological models, and there are some situations, notably those involving competition in fluctuating environments, where fundamentally nonlinear phenomena are critical to ecological understanding. But the importance in the real world of other nonlinear phenomena that attract much excitement among theorists, such as deterministic chaos, is much more doubtful. Many properties of fluctuations in nonlinear systems are well described by mathematical approaches that use linear equations to describe dynamics in the vicinity of an equilibrium state. The book gives a thorough introduction to these approaches, with particular focus on methods that exploit Fourier analysis.

Third, chapters 6 and 7 of the book take an unconventional approach to the formulation and analysis of stochastic population models. The starting point is a rigorous treatment of "demographic stochasticity", the randomness that occurs because population change is caused by a sequence of individual births and deaths. We introduce the concept of "white noise" in a manner appropriate for ecologists, develop powerful approximate methods for predicting the intensity of fluctuating populations, and offer a systematic approach to modeling the probability of extinction."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   379
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.7" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   The Blackburn Press
ISBN  1930665903  
ISBN13  9781930665903  

Availability  54 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 04:51.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About R. M. Nisbet

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! R. M. Nisbet has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Demography
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > Biology
4Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Biological Sciences > Ecology
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Mathematics > Applied > General
6Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > General
7Books > Subjects > Science > Mathematics > Applied > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Modelling Fluctuating Populations?

Excellent service  Apr 11, 2007
Although the book had a slightly worn cover rather than being brand new as advertised, at only 10% of the (exorbitant) cover price it was still an excellent deal. Shipping was prompt.

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