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Stability and complexity in model ecosystems. With a new introduction by the author. 2nd ed. (English) Zbl 1044.92047
Princeton Landmarks in Biology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (ISBN 0-691-08861-6/pbk). xxxiv, 265 p. (2001).
This book is a re-publication of the author’s classic monograph in the Princeton Landmarks in Biology series. May’s 1974 monograph is certainly a landmark in theoretical ecology in that it articulated the major themes of the subject for several decades after its publication. The major themes in the monograph are dynamic models of biological populations, complexity (and diversity) versus stability of ecosystems, the effects of stochasticity, and competition among species (limiting similarity, ecological niche, etc.). To this day this book remains an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the theoretical side of these topics.
What makes the Princeton publication of the monograph particularly interesting is a new introduction provided by the author. In this introduction, the author follows the subsequent history and evolution of the main issues originally formulated in the book, discusses the successes and shortcomings of the principles and conclusions presented there, and highlights the most current thinking and open questions about these subjects.

92D40 Ecology
90-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to operations research and mathematical programming