Reviewed by Mary Strother
Retired Science Teacher
Some of the greatest damage to habitats in the last three centuries has come not from human explorers but from invasions of exotic species. Kudzu, zebra mussels, and Asian longhorned beetles have all devastated natural populations. Invasion Ecology gives teachers and students the scientific background to study invasive species and understand their impact. By studying the topics of populations, communities, and ecosystem ecology, students will be prepared to find solutions for environmental problems.
Invasion Ecology provides background and quantitative techniques that can be used in general ecology coursework or research specific to invasive species. Quadrat and transect surveys are appropriate for population studies from middle school through college. Procedures are also included for observational studies and collections. The text could also be used as a module in other science courses or as a resource for student research projects. The authors do not assume prior student knowledge, and the material is presented with background information sequenced from simple to complex.
The book begins with a general background section that covers population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. The next section introduces research protocols and techniques scientists use in their research. The final section is dedicated to conducting interactive research. This section contains ideas for interactive research and pointers for developing a research project. There is ample information in this book to support a wide variety of innovative, high-quality, independent research projects.
Checks for understanding, graphics, some detailed explanation for concepts, and specific procedures for activities are provided. In addition, SciLinks Internet references provide reliable, accurate websites for further investigation. Each section can be used independently depending on the knowledge level of the student, which makes this material extremely flexible.
Invasion Ecology is a good text to use for introduction or reinforcement of content related to invasive species. Individual protocols can be copied to provide field exercises or the text can become a mini-course in itself. A thorough teachers’ guide is also available to accompany the student text.
Review posted on 7/1/2003