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All Ebook Formats $39.99 ISBN: 9781610911993 Published February 2013
Hardcover $80.00 ISBN: 9781597267014 Published February 2013
Paperback $40.00 ISBN: 9781597267021 Published February 2013


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Principles of Ecological Landscape Design

 Principles of Ecological Landscape Design
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Travis Beck

296 pages | 8.5 x 10

Today, there is a growing demand for designed landscapes—from public parks to backyards—to be not only beautiful and functional, but also sustainable. Sustainability means more than just saving energy and resources. It requires integrating the landscapes we design with ecological systems. With Principles of Ecological Landscape Design, Travis Beck gives professionals and students the first book to translate the science of ecology into design practice.

This groundbreaking work explains key ecological concepts and their application to the design and management of sustainable landscapes. It covers biogeography and plant selection, assembling plant communities, competition and coexistence, designing ecosystems, materials cycling and soil ecology, plant-animal interactions, biodiversity and stability, disturbance and succession, landscape ecology, and global change. Beck draws on real world cases where professionals have put ecological principles to use in the built landscape.

The demand for this information is rising as professional associations like the American Society of Landscape Architects adopt new sustainability guidelines (SITES). But the need goes beyond certifications and rules. For constructed landscapes to perform as we need them to, we must get their underlying ecology right. Principles of Ecological Landscape Design provides the tools to do just that. 

"A well-researched and scientific explanation of ecological concepts...the author distills what could have been volumes of technical data into clear explanations of key botanical processes...Overall, Beck provides clearly-presented science, ecological concepts and processes, and suggested strategies for implementation. These are not ready-made solutions but provide a solid foundation for designers to broaden their understanding of the ecological principles in nature that can be factored into landscape design."

James Royce, ASLA's The Dirt

"You should make time to read this book."
Garden Design Journal

"a practical guide for professionals who are designing and managing ecosystems."
Landscape Architecture Magazine

"This important book is not at all dry and academic, although it is largely intended for the landscape professional."
The Ottawa Citizen

"This may be the most important landscape book since Ian McHarg’s groundbreaking work, Design with Nature, pioneered the concept of ecological planning....[A]n invaluable resource."

Thomas Rainer,, Grounded Design

"This is a book that encompasses, in great detail, all of the aspects of designing a landscape with ecology in mind. It is a comprehensive manual, both instructional and case study at once... It is a well-written, thorough book which will be more and more important in the future, a must-have for anyone who is connected to creating landscapes."

Kelly Brenner, Metropolitan Field Guide

“This book has been needed for decades; there is currently no better guide to ecologically based planting design. Beck has assembled a very readable set of guidelines for planting design, which draws on a remarkably broad research base to help today’s designers see their work in the context of living systems far beyond the boundaries of their site.”
Kristina Hill,, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley

“Principles of Ecological Landscape Design provides a wealth of useful and inspiring information, which will make the book a valuable source for both practitioners and scholars. Beck makes a significant contribution to our expanding body of knowledge about how to create more sustainable places and illustrates how the science of ecology can be effectively employed to advance the art of design.”
Frederick Steiner,, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin

“Finally! Real science for planting projects – design, restoration, urban, or rural.  Plant ecology, complex adaptive systems, and landscape ecology concepts are clearly explained and practically applied, with compelling examples.  It deals rationally with natives, invasives, and climate change.  This book is an essential twenty-first century tool.”
Kim Sorvig,, Research Associate Professor, University of New Mexico

"Translates the science of ecology into design practice to integrate growing cities into the natural environment"
Colorado Green

"These principles should be included or at least considered in all landscape installations ... All would live in a much more sustainable world if the methods presented here were implemented on a wide scale ... Highly recommended."

“A worthy companion and reference for the landscaper, this book deserves to reach a larger audience than it intends”
Premaculture Activist

"... Beck systematically summarizes both the state of ecological knowledge... and ways of putting it into practice."

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