The study of animal behaviour has become one of the fastest growing biological disciplines in recent decades. This development can be easily inferred, for example, from the steady increase in the total number of publications on any aspect of animal behaviour, in particular also in journals with a more general readership (e. g. Nature, Proceedings of the Royal Society or Current Biology), the ever-increasing number of participants at international conferences (e. g. IEC or ISBE), and from the growing numbers of students choosing courses in this field.
Are animals intelligent? How do they learn to solve everyday survival problems? Can they be intentionally deceptive? The investigation of animal behaviour is an important and fascinating aspect of comparative psychology. Determinants of Animal Behaviour thoroughly covers the section on determinants of animal behaviour in the AQA (A) comparative psychology module and deals with the three main topics featured in the syllabus. Firstly the evolutionary explanations of animal behaviour are discussed, including the biological explanations of apparent altruism. Secondly the nature of classical and operant conditioning in animal behaviour is considered and finally the role of social learning in animals is investigated. Real life examples are used throughout the book to illustrate the arguments presented.
Migration, broadly defined as directional movement to take advantage of spatially distributed resources, is a dramatic behaviour and an important component of many life histories that can contribute to the fundamental structuring of ecosystems. In recent years, our understanding of migration has advanced radically with respect to both new data and conceptual understanding. It is now almost twenty years since publication of the first edition, and an authoritative and up-to-date sequel that provides a taxonomically comprehensive overview of the latest research is therefore timely. The emphasis throughout this advanced textbook is on the definition and description of migratory behaviour, its ecological outcomes for individuals, populations, and communities, and how these outcomes lead to natural selection acting on the behaviour to cause its evolution.
Extensive grazing and browsing by domestic and wild herbivores shape the vegetation composition, structure and dynamics of many terrestrial ecosystems. The mechanisms and processes underlying the herbivores' behaviour, distribution, movement and direct impact on the vegetation, and the dynamics of nutrients, plant species, and vegetation composition in terrestrial ecosystems are discussed in detail.