Chapter

Plankton—Not So Paradoxical After All

Sean Nee and Graham Stone

in Marine Macroecology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226904115
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226904146 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226904146.003.0007
Plankton—Not So Paradoxical After All

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The paradox of the plankton is an apparently massive violation of the principle of competitive exclusion, or the “one species, one niche” requirement for coexistence. It is quite extraordinary, the extent to which this world view of homogenous water with little opportunity for niche diversification has been completely overturned by the discoveries of recent years, so it is appropriate to return for another look at the paradox of the plankton. In addition to the existence of many new discoveries, another reason to revisit the paradox is the current interest in the neutral theory of biodiversity, since such a theory was presented as a resolution of the paradox many years ago. The neutral theory of biodiversity was originally proposed as a candidate explanation of tropical tree diversity. The enormous tree diversity in the tropical forests seems to present a similar puzzle to the ecologist, as do the plankton.

Keywords: plankton; ocean metabolism; biodiversity; molecular evolution

Chapter.  4166 words. 

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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