Rising temperatures are affecting organisms in all of Earth’s biomes, but the complexity of ecological responses to climate change has hampered the development of a conceptually unified treatment of them. In a remarkably comprehensive synthesis, this book presents past, ongoing, and future ecological responses to climate change in the context of two simplifying hypotheses, facilitation and interference, arguing that biotic interactions may be the primary driver of ecological responses to climate change across all levels of biological organization.
Eric Post’s synthesis and analyses of ecological consequences of climate change extend from the Late Pleistocene to the present, and through the next century of projected warming. His investigation is grounded in classic themes of enduring interest in ecology, but developed around novel conceptual and mathematical models of observed and predicted dynamics. Using stability theory as a recurring theme, Post argues that the magnitude of climatic variability may be just as important as the magnitude and direction of change in determining whether populations, communities, and species persist. He urges a more refined consideration of species interactions, emphasizing important distinctions between lateral and vertical interactions and their disparate roles in shaping responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to climate change.
Eric Post is professor of biology and ecology at Pennsylvania State University. He has published dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters on ecological responses to climate change, and is coeditor of Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate.
"In this book . . . Post steps outside this traditional approach to offer a detailed exploration of the role that biotic interactions might play in ecosystem responses to climate change. The book is a highly detailed, well-illustrated, and thoroughly explained argument that these biotic interactions are not just factors that must be taken into consideration, but rather might be in fact determining how individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems respond to climate change."—Choice
"A truly extraordinary amount of information is contained in this book, ranging from historic climate change to future predictions, and from species through ecosystems. Post certainly achieves his stated goal of showcasing the role of biotic interactions in determining how ecological systems respond to climate change. I plan to assign course readings from this book in my future teaching career, and I foresee myself pulling it off the shelf frequently as a reference."—Amy M. Iler, Ecology
"Eric Post's recent book, Ecology of Climate Change: The Importance of Biotic Interactions, has an important role to play. It can increase understanding among budding and established biologists by serving as a reference and tutorial. . . . No volume can provide the definitive answer on a topic as broad and complex—or as important—as climate change ecology, but Post's contribution is a useful start."—BioScience
"Researchers in the fields of ecology and conservation will greatly benefit from having this book."—Richard Kotter, International Journal of Environmental Studies
"Post challenges the reader to think deeply about how climate change is intrinsic to ecosystem complexity. Post elegantly draws upon important theories in ecology (e.g., life history, niche, biodiversity) and rolls out the red carpet for clearly understanding the ecological impacts of climate change, while providing a theoretical structure for the direction of future research. . . . Ecology of Climate Change is comprehensive and thorough, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to push the limits of our understanding of how ecosystems are responding to climate change."—Jerod A. Merkle, Journal of Wildlife Management
"A valuable addition to the ecologist's bookshelf."—Gabor Pozsgai, Conservation Biology
"I believe that this book will become the go-to reference for gaining a foundational understanding of how global climate change has and will continue to transform ecological systems in the face of anthropogenic impacts. An encyclopedic synthesis of the field, it provides exemplary coverage of the vast literature. This is an authoritative treatment of an important topic in ecology and conservation."—Oswald J. Schmitz, Yale University
"To predict the responses of species to climate change, Post shows how interactions between species may be as important as density-independent responses to changes in their abiotic environment. Most ecologists have focused on the latter. Post makes a great case that the response of species to climate change is likely to unfold in the context of their interactions with other species, through competition, predation, and, in the case of humans, land-use change."—William H. Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies