Woodlands and Forests

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ECOLOGY OF WOODLANDS AND FORESTS Description, Dynamics and Diversity

Taking a functional rather than an ecosystem or a utilitarian approach, Thomas and Packham provide a concise account of the structure of woodlands and forests. Using examples from around the world - from polar treelines to savannas to tropical rain forests - the authors explain the structure of the soil and the hidden world of the roots; how the main groups of organisms that live within them interact both positively and negatively. There is particular emphasis on woodland and forest processes, especially those involving the flow and cycling of nutrients, as well as the dynamics of wooded areas, considering how and why they have changed through geological time and continue to do so. This clear, non-technical text will be of interest to undergraduates, foresters, ecologists and land managers.

Peter A. Thomas is senior lecturer in environmental science at Keele University, UK, where his teaching encompasses a wide range of tree and woodland related topics including tree design and biomechanics, tree and woodland ecology and woodland management. His research interests focus on tree ecology, dendrochronology and forest fires. He is the author of Trees: Their Natural History published by Cambridge University Press.

John R. Packham is Emeritus Professor of Ecology at the University of Wolverhampton, where he headed the Woodland Research Group for many years. He has special interests in forestry, was a founder member of the Continuous Cover Forestry Group (CCFG) and has worked extensively in English and Scandinavian forests. His research is particularly concerned with virgin forests, the ecology of the woodland field layer, and the establishment of attractive and diverse communities in new woodlands. Executive editor of The Ecological Flora of the Shropshire Region (1985), he was the first author of two major books on woodland and forest ecology and one on coastal ecology, and an organizing editor of Ecology and Geomorphology of Coastal Shingle (2001).

Forest type African elephant Loxodonta cyclotis feeding on acacia canopy. (Formerly regarded as a subspecies of the African elephant Loxodonta africana, the forest elephant is now considered a separate species.)

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