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This book presents a theoretical framework for understanding the dynamics of shallow lake communities as it has evolved over the past years from a combination of empirical studies, experimental work and model analysis. Although, as in most theoretical work, mathematical formulations play a role, the models that are used remain simple and most analyses are graphical rather than algebraic. The book will therefore appeal to workers who do not usually dig deep into theoretical ecology such as lake managers, field biologists and experimentalists. Students of theoretical ecology will also gain from the many real-world applications of topics such as predation and competition theory, bifurcation analysis and catastrophe theory.