Excellence in Ecology: Book 11
Community Ecology in a Changing World
John H. Lawton
Chief Executive of NERC, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1EU, UK
Recipient of the ECI Prize 1996 in terrestrial ecology
Professor John Lawton was elected by the ECI Jury chaired by Professor Ilkka Hanski (University of Helsinki, Finland) for his distinguished contributions to community ecology. He is known for his elegant and comprehensive work on folivorous insects. He is also one of the leaders in macroecology, the study of large-scale patterns in animal and plant communities. Born in 1943, John Lawton earned his Ph.D. at the University of Durham (England) and then worked at Oxford, at the University of York, and at Imperial College of the University of London, where he became the first director of the Natural Environment Research Council's Centre for Population Biology. John Lawton has served on the councils of numerous scientific bodies and government agencies, and he is now Chief Executive of the Natural Environmental Research Council of the UK.
EE Book 11 documents John Lawton's insights into community ecology. The book begins by describing field situations in northern England and short-term reductionist experiments. It proceeds towards increasingly complex assemblages, pointing out that short-term, small-scale studies are unlikely to allow useful predictions of global effects. Lawton criticises the insufficient use of models. He advocates concentration on key processes such as competition, trophic interactions and mutualism, as well as long-term system dynamics and whole-system manipulations.
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