Ecology and Evolution of Communities

Front Cover
Martin L. Cody, Jared M. Diamond
Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1975 - Nature - 545 pages
2 Reviews

In recent times, the science of ecology has been rejuvenated and has moved to a central position in biology. This volume contains eighteen original, major contributions by leaders in the field, all associates of the late Robert MacArthur, whose work has stimulated many of the recent developments in ecology. The intellectual ferment of the field is reflected in these papers, which offer new models for ecological processes, new applications of theoretical and quantitative techniques, and new methods for analyzing and interpreting a wide variety of empirical data.

The first five chapters explore the evolution of species abundance and diversity (R. Levins, E. Leigh, J. MacArthur, R. May, and M. Rosenzweig). The theory of loop analysis is newly applied to understanding stability of species communities under both mendelian and group selection. Species abundance relations, population fluctuations, and continental patterns of species diversity are illustrated and interpreted theoretically. The next section examines the competitive strategies of optimal resource allocation variously employed in plant life histories (W. Schaffer and M. Gadgil), bird diets and foraging techniques (H. Hespenheide), butterfly seasonal flights (A. Shapiro), and forest succession examined by the theory of Markov processes (H. Horn).

The seven chapters of the third section study the structure of species communities, by comparing different natural communities in similar habitats (M. Cody, J. Karr and F. James, E. Pianka, J. Brown, J. Diamond), or by manipulating field situations experimentally (R. Patrick, J. Connell). The analyses are of communities of species as diverse as freshwater stream organisms, desert lizards and rodents, birds, invertebrates, and plants. These studies yield insights into the assembly of continental and insular communities, convergent evolution of morphology and of ecological structure, and the relative roles of predation, competition, and harsh physical conditions in limiting species ranges.

Finally, the two remaining chapters illustrate how ecological advances depend on interaction of theory with field and laboratory observations (G. E. Hutchinson), and how ecological studies such as those of this volume may find practical application to conservation problems posed by man's accelerating modification of the natural world (E. Wilson and E. Willis).

  

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Contents

Bibliography of Robert MacArthur
13
Evolution in Communities near 16
41
Population Fluctuations Community
53
Environmental Fluctuations and
77
Patterns of Species Abundance and
83
On Continental Steady States of
123
Selection for Optimal Life Histories
142
Prey Characteristics and Predator
158
Niche Relations of Desert Lizards
293
Geographical Ecology of Desert
317
Assembly of Species Communities
343
Structure of Stream Communities
445
Some Mechanisms Producing
460
Variations on a Theme by Robert
492
Applied Biogeography
522
Index
537

Towards a Theory of Continental
215
Ecomorphological Configurations and
258

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About the author (1975)

Martin L. Cody is Professor of Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among the books he has coedited are "Biogeography of Islands in the Sea of Cortez "(2002), "Long-Term Studies of Vertebrate Communities "(1996), "Ecology and Evolution of Communities" (1985), and "Habitat Selection in Birds" (1975).

Jared Mason Diamond is a physiologist, ecologist, and the author of several popular science books. Born in Boston in 1937, Diamond earned his B.A. at Harvard and his Ph.D. from Cambridge. A distinguished teacher and researcher, Diamond is well-known for the columns he contributes to the widely read magazines Natural History and Discover. Diamond's book The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal was heralded for its accessibility and for its blending of science and social science. The interdisciplinary Guns, Germs and Steel--Diamond's examination of the relationship between scientific technology and economic disparity--won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize. Diamond has won a McArthur Foundation Fellowship in addition to several smaller awards for his science and writing.

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