Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Behavioral Mechanisms in Ecology

Behavioral Mechanisms in Ecology

Douglass H. Morse

ISBN 9780674064614

Publication date: 04/15/1982

This readable text represents a much needed synthesis of ecological insight into animal behavior. The field of behavioral ecology is relatively new, having evolved from a combination of classical ethology, as developed by Lorenz and Tinbergen, and population ecology. Now for the first time, a single author integrates the vast literature on animal ecology and behavior into a conceptual whole.

Exploring the theme of resource acquisitions, Douglass H. Morse combines the comparative approach to biology with models based on evolutionary theory. Secondary consequences of sexual selection and other selective pressures are considered in detail. Discussion of interspecific interactions and constraints is especially rich, as is the treatment of foraging theory, kinship theory, habitat selection and predator avoidance. Perhaps the book’s greatest achievement, however, is its unparalleled ecological and evolutionary analysis of individual differences.

Behavioral Mechanisms in Ecology will meet the teaching and reference needs of an extremely broad audience of professional biologists.


  • Morse, I believe, is the first in two decades to have provided an integrated treatment of the ecological problems of interest to ethologists which at the same time meets the criteria of scholarly thoroughness and accuracy… An essential volume for ecologists!

    —P. H. Klopfer, Ecology


  • Douglass H. Morse is Hermon Carey Bumpus Professor of Biology, Brown University.

Book Details

  • 392 pages
  • Harvard University Press

From this author