This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  



The most productive ecosystems are generally those that receive high levels of energy subsidies (e.g., tides, river floods, upwelling) in addition to solar energy. Often these extra sources are seasonal or regular ‘pulses’ that not only enhance productivity but also contribute to the stability of the ecosystem. At the same time, pulses make the system more ‘open’ to exchange of elements with adjacent systems. This concept of stability with pulses was termed ‘pulse-stability’ by E.P. Odum. Examples of pulsing events that contribute to the structure and productivity of ecosystems include ice storms, fires, large river floods, hurricanes, droughts, etc. Much of the southeast of the United States is dominated by pine fire-climax ecosystems.

Pulsing is important in river and deltaic ecosystems. Understanding river ecosystems has ...

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