May 14, 2008

Book Review - Resilience and the Behavior of Large Scale Systems

Resilience and the Behavior of Large-Scale Systems
edited by Lance H. Gunderson and Lowell Pritchard Jr.
QH 541 .R45 2002

This book examines the stability of ecosystems. The authors interpret the idea of resilience as the capability to exist in a steady state without drastic changes to its predictable behavior. The concept of resilience is then applied to environmental systems, getting at ideas of sustainability through systems analysis. After discussing the definitions and applications of this systems analysis framework to environmental problems, the book delves into analysis of specific ecosystems. Lakes, coral reefs, rangelands, and tropical forests are just some of the ecosystems that are studied here. This book is detailed and combines theory with analysis. It will be of most use to environmental scientists and engineers.