Topics for EcoGroup (Winter 2009)

EcoGroup is a seminar that forms one of the core teaching activities of the Ph.D. concentration in Ecology and Environment within the Department of Anthropology. All Ph.D. students in EE are required to register for it and all the faculty are also encouraged to participate. This quarter, we have regular faculty participants of Rebecca Bliege Bird (the organizer), Doug Bird, and James Holland Jones. The seminar is open to members of the Stanford community interested in problems of human ecology, so if you are interested in joining, please contact one of us and feel free to join.

Our goal this quarter is to think about what relevance contemporary theoretical ecology has for central problems in ecological anthropology. We are particularly interested in questions of scale (both temporal and spatial), and the related concepts of stability, complexity, and resilience. The following is a list of potential topics with some of the readings for this quarter's EcoGroup. It is very much a work in progress.

The "New Ecologies"

Balée, W. 2006. The research program of historical ecology. Annual Review of Anthropology. 35: 75-98.

Scoones, I. 1999. New Ecology and the social sciences: What prospects for a fruitful engagement? Annual Review of Anthropology. 28:479-507.

Lima, S.L., and P.A. Zollner. 1996. Towards a behavioral ecology of landscapes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 11(3):131-135.

Nonlinear dynamics

May, R. M. 1976. Simple Mathematical-Models with Very Complicated Dynamics. Nature. 261 (5560):459-467. doi:10.1038/261459a0

Notes (with R code) available for this week.

Model ecosystems, food web dynamics, stability/complexity

Berlow, E. L. 1999. Strong effects of weak interactions in ecological communities. Nature. 398: 300-334.

Kondoh, M. 2003. Foraging adaptation and the relationship between food-web complexity and stability. Science 299: 1388-1391.

May, R. M. 1973. Stability and Complexity in Model Ecosystems. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

McCann, K.S. 2000. The Diversity–Stability Debate. Nature. 405:228-233.

McCann, K., A. Hastings, and G. R. Huxel. 1998. Weak Trophic Interactions and the Balance of Nature. Nature. 395 (6704):794-798.

Pimm, S.L., and J.H. Lawton. 1978. On Feeding on More Than One Trophic Level. Nature. 275:542-544.

Notes on stability in multi-species systems available for this week.

Human Agency and Threats to Biodiversity (Industrial Societies)

Clausen, R., and R. York. 2008. Economic Growth and Marine Biodiversity: Influence of Human Social Structure on Decline of Marine Trophic Levels. Conservation Biology. 22 (2):458-466.

Forester, D. J., and G. E. Machlis. 1996. Modeling Human Factors That Affect the Loss of Biodiversity. Conservation Biology. 10 (4):1253-1263.

Foraging feedbacks on community processes (risk sensitivity, prey-switching)

Goss-Custard, J.D., R.W.G. Caldow, R.T. Clarke, S.E.A. le V. dit Durell, and W.J. Sutherland. 1995. Deriving Population Parameters from Individual Variations in Foraging Behaviour. I. Empirical Game Theory Distribution Model of Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) Feeding on Mussels. Journal of Animal Ecology. 64:265-276.

Goss-Custard, J.D., R.W.G. Caldow, R.T. Clarke, and A.D. West. 1995. Deriving Population Parameters from Individual Variations in Foraging Behaviour. II. Model Tests and Population Parameters. Journal of Animal Ecology. 64:277-289.

Holt, R. D., and T. Kimbrel. 2007. Foraging and Population Dynamics. In Foraging Behavior and Ecology, edited by D. S. Stephens, J. S. Brown and R. C. Ydenberg, pp. 365-395. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sih, A. 2005. Predator-Prey Space Use as an Emergent Outcome of a Behavioral Response Race. In Ecology of Predator-Prey Interactions, edited by P. Barbosa and I. Castellanos, pp. 240-255. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Disturbance, resilience, adaptation

Holling, C.S. 1973. Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 4:1-23.

Horvitz, C. C., and D. W. Schemske. 1995. Spatiotemporal Variation in Demographic Transitions of a Tropical Understory Herb: Projection Matrix Analysis. Ecological Monographs. 65 (2):155-192.

Ludwig, D., B. Walker, and C.S. Holling. 1997. Sustainability, Stability, and Resilience. Conservation Ecology. 1 (1): art7.

The Problem of Carrying Capacity

Arrow, Kenneth, Bert Bolin, Roert Costanza, Partha Dasgupta, Carl Folke, C. S. Holling, Bengt-Owe Jansson, Simon Levin, Karl-Goran Maler, Charles Perrings, and David Pimentel. 1995. Economic Growth, Carrying Capacity, and the Environment. Science. 268:520-522.

Cohen, Joel E. 1995. How Many People Can the Earth Support? New York: Norton (Ch. 1, Appendix).

Jones, J.H. ms. Density-Independent Population Regulation: Implications for Human Life History Evolution.

Scale and hierarchy (structure/agency)

The Problem of Scale

Levin, S. A. 1992. The Problem of Pattern and Scale in Ecology. Ecology. 73 (6):1943-1967.

Levin, S. A., B. Grenfell, A. Hastings, and A. S. Perelson. 1997. Mathematical and Computational Challenges in Population Biology and Ecosystems Science. Science. 275 (5298):334-343.