Ecology (4th International Edition)

William D. Bowman; Sally D. Hacker; Michael L. Cain
  • Introduces students to the beauty and importance of ecology, without presenting them with too much material or boring them with unnecessary detail

New to this Edition:

  • A new Hone Your Problem-Solving Skills series has been added to the set of review questions at the end of each chapter
  • Additional Analyzing Data exercises on the Companion Website
  • Revised and strengthened key pedagogical features

The new fourth edition of Ecology maintains its focus on providing an easy-to-read and well-organized text for instructors and students to explore the basics of ecology. This edition also continues with an increasing emphasis on enhancing student quantitative and problem-solving skills. 
A new Hone Your Problem-Solving Skills series has been added to the set of review questions at the end of each chapter. The questions expose students to hypothetical situations or existing data sets, and allow them to work through data analysis and interpretation to better understand ecological concepts. 
New for this edition, additional Analyzing Data exercises have been added to the Companion Website. These exercises enable students to enhance their essential skills sets, such as performing calculations, making graphs, designing experiments, and interpreting results. 
Recognizing the increasing evidence and effects of climate change on ecological systems, additional Climate Change Connections have been added. These vignettes help students appreciate the many consequences of global climate change on the distributions and functions of organisms as well as the ecosystems they depend on. Finally, the authors also revised and strengthened key pedagogical features of Ecology.


1: The Web of Life
Unit 1: Organisms and Their Environment
2: The Physical Environment
3: The Biosphere
4: Coping with Environmental Variation: Temperature and Water
5: Coping with Environmental Variation: Energy
Unit 2: Evolutionary Ecology
6: Evolution and Ecology
7: Life History
8: Behavioral Ecology
Unit 3: Populations
9: Population Distribution and Abundance
10: Population Growth and Regulation
11: Population Dynamics
Unit 4: Species Interactions
12: Predation
13: Parasitism
14: Competition
15: Mutualism and Commensalism
Unit 5: Communities
16: The Nature of Communities
17: Change in Communities
18: Biogeography
19: Species Diversity in Communities
Unit 6: Ecosystems
20: Production
21: Energy Flow and Food Webs
22: Nutrient Supply and Cycling
Unit 7: Applied and Large-Scale Ecology
23: Conservation Biology
24: Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Management
25: Global Ecology


William D. Bowman is Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, affiliated with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Mountain Research Station, and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.
Sally D. Hacker is Professor at Oregon State University, Corvallis, where she has been a faculty member since 2004.
Michael L. Cain, having opted to change careers and focus full-time on writing, is currently affiliated with the Department of Biology at New Mexico State University.

"This past fall, I taught a 200-level ecology course at Colby and used Cain et al. as the textbook. I found the test bank questions written by Norman Johnson to be extraordinarily useful. I tend to be skeptical about test bank questions in general, and almost never use them, so it was a very pleasant surprise for me to see how good they were. I didn't actually use them as a test-bank, but chose selected questions to use for in-class review and discussion prompts. The book overall was wonderful, too!" - Judy Stone, Colby College (on the Third Edition)