Robert Ricklefs på 4-dages besøg på CMEC – University of Copenhagen

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20. marts 2012

Robert Ricklefs på 4-dages besøg på CMEC

Natural history insights into community assembly

by Robert Ricklefs

 Historically, community ecologists regarded local interactions as key to understanding species coexistence and patterns of species richness. More recently, ecologists have recognized the impact of regional processes and historical contingency on local assemblages of species. Macroecology has drawn attention to large-scale patterns, and neutral theory emphasizes ecological equivalence of species and the importance of random processes in producing these patterns. In the midst of these developments, ecologists have lost sight of natural history observations that illuminate underlying causes of pattern in macroecology. I shall draw examples of such observations primarily from analyses of birds and forest trees, including: interregional correlations in species and individuals per large taxon; independence of species abundance and distribution from number of closely related species; absence of evolutionary conservatism in distribution and abundance; and independence of total niche space and number of co-occurring species. The implications of these observations suggest new concepts of ecological communities emphasizing a central role for host-pathogen relationships producing short-term phases of expansion and contraction in species’ populations.

Wednesday 21 March 2012  —  2:00PM  —  Building 10 Auditorium A