The Role of Diversity in the Energetics of Plant Communities
Creators:McNaughton, S. J.
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v74, n6 (November, 1974), 351-358
Community organization, which is determined in an environmental matrix that varies in space, time, and resource quality, is an important determinant of fitnesses of constituent populations, [n addition, the fitnesses of individual populations are important determinants of community properties. Changes in species richness and equitability during plant succession indicate that comparative fitnesses of co-occuring populations, as measured by their abilities to contribute to energy flow, become more similar as succession proceeds. The rate of species invasion diminishes with greater diversity, and a smaller proportion of the flora is subject to extinction in a given time period. Community diversity, population fitness, environmental heterogeneity, and population and community stability are members of a complex feedback loop which couples each to the others.
Author Institution: Biological Research Laboratories, Syracuse University
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