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Games, Groups, and the Global Good

by Simon A. Levin

How do groups form, how do institutions come into being, and when do moral norms and practices emerge? This volume explores how game-theoretic approaches can be extended to consider broader questions that cross scales of organization, from individuals to cooperatives to societies. Game theory' strategic formulation of central problems in the analysis of social interactions is used to develop multi-level theories that examine the interplay between individuals and the collectives they form. The concept of cooperation is examined at a higher level than that usually addressed by game theory, especially focusing on the formation of groups and the role of social norms in maintaining their integrity, with positive and negative implications. The authors suggest that conventional analyses need to be broadened to explain how heuristics, like concepts of fairness, arise and become formalized into the ethical principles embraced by a society.

The Importance of Species

by Simon A. Levin Peter Kareiva

A great many species are threatened by the expanding human population. Though the public generally favors environmental protection, conservation does not come without sacrifice and cost. Many decision makers wonder if every species is worth the trouble. Of what consequence would the extinction of, say, spotted owls or snail darters be? Are some species expendable? Given the reality of limited money for conservation efforts, there is a compelling need for scientists to help conservation practitioners set priorities and identify species most in need of urgent attention. Ecology should be capable of providing guidance that goes beyond the obvious impulse to protect economically valuable species (salmon) or aesthetically appealing ones (snow leopards). Although some recent books have considered the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity as an aggregate property, this is the first to focus on the value of particular species. It provides the scientific approaches and analyses available for asking what we can expect from losing (or gaining) species. The contributors are outstanding ecologists, theoreticians, and evolutionary biologists who gathered for a symposium honoring Robert T. Paine, the community ecologist who experimentally demonstrated that a single predator species can act as a keystone species whose removal dramatically alters entire ecosystem communities. They build on Paine's work here by exploring whether we can identify species that play key roles in ecosystems before they are lost forever. These are some of our finest ecologists asking some of our hardest questions. They are, in addition to the editors, S.E.B. Abella, G. C. Chang, D. Doak, A. L. Downing, W. T. Edmondson, A. S. Flecker, M. J. Ford, C.D.G. Harley, E. G. Leigh Jr., S. Lubetkin, S. M. Louda, M. Marvier, P. McElhany, B. A. Menge, W. F. Morris, S. Naeem, S. R. Palumbi, A. G. Power, T. A. Rand, R. B. Root, M. Ruckelshaus, J. Ruesink, D. E. Schindler, T. W. Schoener, D. Simberloff, D. A. Spiller, M. J. Wonham, and J. T. Wootton.

The Princeton Guide to Ecology

by Jonathan B. Losos Michel Loreau Brian Walker Simon A. Levin Stephen R. Carpenter Ann P. Kinzig H. Charles Godfray David S. Wilcove

The Princeton Guide to Ecology is a concise, authoritative one-volume reference to the field's major subjects and key concepts. Edited by eminent ecologist Simon Levin, with contributions from an international team of leading ecologists, the book contains more than ninety clear, accurate, and up-to-date articles on the most important topics within seven major areas: autecology, population ecology, communities and ecosystems, landscapes and the biosphere, conservation biology, ecosystem services, and biosphere management. Complete with more than 200 illustrations (including sixteen pages in color), a glossary of key terms, a chronology of milestones in the field, suggestions for further reading on each topic, and an index, this is an essential volume for undergraduate and graduate students, research ecologists, scientists in related fields, policymakers, and anyone else with a serious interest in ecology.Explains key topics in one concise and authoritative volume Features more than ninety articles written by an international team of leading ecologists Contains more than 200 illustrations, including sixteen pages in color Includes glossary, chronology, suggestions for further reading, and index Covers autecology, population ecology, communities and ecosystems, landscapes and the biosphere, conservation biology, ecosystem services, and biosphere management

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