The objective of this book is to make analytical methods available to students of ecology. The text deals with concepts of energy exchange, gas exchange, and chemical kinetics involving the interactions of plants and animals with their environments. The first four chapters are designed to show the applications of biophysical ecology in a preliminary, sim- plified manner. Chapters 5-10, treating the topics of radiation, convec- tion, conduction, and evaporation, are concerned with the physical environment. The spectral properties of radiation and matter are thoroughly described, as well as the geometrical, instantaneous, daily, and annual amounts of both shortwave and longwave radiation. Later chapters give the more elaborate analytical methods necessary for the study of photosynthesis in plants and energy budgets in animals. The final chapter describes the temperature responses of plants and animals. The discipline of biophysical ecology is rapidly growing, and some important topics and references are not included due to limitations of space, cost, and time. The methodology of some aspects of ecology is illustrated by the subject matter of this book. It is hoped that future students of the subject will carry it far beyond its present status. Ideas for advancing the subject matter of biophysical ecology exceed individual capacities for effort, and even today, many investigators in ecology are studying subjects for which they are inadequately prepared. The potential of modern science, in the minds and hands of skilled investigators, to of the interactions of organisms with their advance our understanding environment is enormous.
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