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Title: Towards the general mechanistic prediction of community dynamics
Contributor(s): Paine, C E Timothy  (author)orcid ; Deasey, Anna (author); Duthie, A Bradley (author)
Publication Date: 2018-07
Early Online Version: 2018-03-15
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.13096Open Access Link
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Abstract: 1. "What controls the distribution and abundance of organisms"? This question, at the heart of the dynamics of ecological communities, would have been familiar to the earliest ecologists. Having lain effectively abandoned for many years, community dynamics today is a vibrant research topic of great conceptual interest with practical import for conservation, ecological management, ecosystem services and the responses of ecological communities to climate change.2. We describe how modern coexistence theory can be used to predict community dynamics through the use of demography. We explore the challenges that limit the deployment of this demographic framework, and the tools from phylogenetic and functional ecology that have been used to surmount them.3. Finding existing tools not altogether sufficient, we propose the use of "hard" functional traits and physiological tolerances of environmental conditions and low resource availability to extend the demographic framework so that the dynamics of a broader range of ecological communities can be accurately predicted.4. We illustrate these new approaches with two case studies. Given the urgent need to accurately forecast the dynamics of ecological communities, we hope that many ecologists will adopt these tools.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Functional Ecology, 32(7), p. 1681-1692
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1365-2435
Field of Research (FOR): 060202 Community Ecology (excl. Invasive Species Ecology)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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