Article

Niche Versus Neutral Models of Community Organization

Lindsay A. Turnbull

in Ecology

ISBN: 9780199830060
Published online May 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199830060-0010
Niche Versus Neutral Models of Community Organization

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  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Plant Ecology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences

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Until very recently, the field of ecology has operated almost entirely around the concept of the ecological niche, in which species are functionally different. Neutral ecology, in which species are functionally equivalent, is a relative newcomer. Neutral ecology generally emphasizes the importance of stochastic, or random, processes in determining community structure and function, while niche-based ecology emphasizes the importance of deterministic processes. The discussion about the relative merits of niches versus neutral processes in structuring ecological communities is one of the most active areas in ecology today. These two very different views of ecology have led to intense debate but also to many efforts to reconcile these perspectives.

Article.  12590 words. 

Subjects: Applied Ecology (Environmental Science) ; Ecology and Conservation ; Plant Ecology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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