Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Urban Ecosystems
Ecological Principles for the Built Environment

$191.00 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521769846

$ 191.00 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • As humans have come to dominate the earth, the ideal of studying and teaching ecology in pristine ecosystems has become impossible to achieve. Our planet is now a mosaic of ecosystems ranging from the relatively undisturbed to the completely built, with the majority of people living in urban environments. This accessible introduction to the principles of urban ecology provides students with the tools they need to understand these increasingly important urban ecosystems. It builds upon the themes of habitat modification and resource use to demonstrate how multiple ecological processes interact in cities and how human activity initiates chains of unpredictable unintended ecological consequences. Broad principles are supported throughout by detailed examples from around the world and a comprehensive list of readings from the primary literature. Questions, exercises and laboratories at the end of each chapter encourage discussion, hands-on study, active learning, and engagement with the world outside the classroom window.

    • Discussion questions, exercises and laboratories at the end of each chapter encourage students to take an active role in their learning
    • Demonstrates the importance of interacting processes, rather than simple rules, in understanding urban ecosystems
    • Links ecological principles to human consumption, health and well-being, demonstrating how human actions can lead to a range of unintended consequences
    • Comprehensive review of the literature for deeper investigation, with key papers highlighted for further reading
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The urban environment is proliferating worldwide, and increasingly is becoming the habitat for humanity. As the authors point out, whereas in 1700 less than 1/10 of people lived in cities, today that fraction exceeds half the world's population. It is urgent to understand what the implications of this change are, and to form an ecosystem perspective on the city. Adler and Tanner have done so brilliantly in this wonderful and scholarly book, which manages to be simultaneously charming and educational. The book is constructed as an unfolding play, a comedy or tragedy depending on one's perspective, beginning with the introduction of the dramatis personae. This is followed by the action, in which the winners and losers of citification are identified, and the effects on the dynamics of materials and energy, culminating with a look to the future. The book can be read from beginning to end as a novel, but also is organized, with exercises, in such a way that it will make a superb text, providing a solid scientific perspective painlessly. This is, to my knowledge, an effort without peer, and certainly makes me want to teach such a course, or at least to take it. The authors have done a superb job, and the reader will be well rewarded."
    Simon A. Levin, Princeton University

    "This primer of urban ecology spans an impressive breadth, viewing cities through the lenses of ecosystem, community, population, behavioral, and evolutionary ecology. Adler and Tanner bring these ideas together in a way that highlights the connections between urban ecology and human health, urban planning, and policy. The ability of the authors to communicate complex ideas in straightforward manner makes the book accessible to those new to the emerging discipline of urban ecology. The suggested discussion questions and exercises will surely prove to be useful resources for educators and students alike."
    Amanda D. Rodewald, Cornell University

    "… a comprehensive summary of the growing field of urban ecology through a biogeophysical lens … The organization of the book is clear and intuitive, and the research presented is varied and compelling … The scholarship is impressive … The "questions and further readings" included at the end of every chapter are thoughtful and well aligned with the content … The light breezy prose makes for an easy read that will keep the attention of students and urbanites alike. The language strikes an impressive balance between academic jargon and accessibility providing readers with breadth as well as ample opportunity to dig a little deeper. Students will appreciate the comprehensive glossary and pairing of basic ecological concepts with unique real-world applications … If you are interested in learning more about the ecology of these complex, varied, and beautiful things we call cities … this book is for you. I doubt you will be disappointed."
    Kirsten Schwarz, Basic and Applied Ecology

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521769846
    • length: 353 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 177 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • contains: 100 b/w illus. 89 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Urban ecosystems and the science of ecology
    2. Urban accounting
    3. Urban ecosystem processes
    4. The ecology of urban organisms
    5. Implications of urban ecology

  • Resources for

    Urban Ecosystems

    Frederick R. Adler, Colby J. Tanner

    Instructor Resources

    General Resources

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    *This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to instructors adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.

    These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

  • Authors

    Frederick R. Adler, University of Utah
    Frederick R. Adler is a professor in the Departments of Biology and Mathematics at the University of Utah. He has published research in a broad range of topics throughout mathematical biology, including biodiversity, population dynamics and spatial ecology. He was awarded the University of Utah's Distinguished Mentor Award in 2009.

    Colby J. Tanner, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
    Colby J. Tanner is currently a visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne. His work focuses on the interface between the local environment and the social aspects of animal behaviour.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.