Resource Competition and Community Structure

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Princeton University Press, Aug 21, 1982 - Science - 296 pages
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One of the central questions of ecology is why there are so many different kinds of plants and animals. Here David Tilman presents a theory of how organisms compete for resources and the way their competition promotes diversity. Developing Hutchinson's suggestion that the main cause of diversity is the feeding relations of species, this book builds a mechanistic, resource-based explanation of the structure and functioning of ecological communities. In a detailed analysis of the Park Grass Experiments at the Rothamsted Experimental Station in England, the author demonstrates that the dramatic results of these 120 years of experimentation are consistent with his theory, as are observations in many other natural communities.

The consumer-resource approach of this book is applicable to both animal and plant communities, but the majority of Professor Tilman's discussion concentrates on the structure of plant communities. All theoretical arguments are developed graphically, and formal mathematics is kept to a minimum. The final chapters of the book provide some testable speculations about resources and animal communities and explore such problems as the evolution of "super species," the differences between plant and animal community diversity patterns, and the cause of plant succession.


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What Are Resources?
Competition for a Single Resource
Competition for Two Resources
Spatial Heterogeneity Resource Richness and Species Diversity
Resource Ratios and the Species Composition of Plant Communities
A Comparison with Classical Competition Theory
Space as a Resource Disturbance and Community Structure
Concluding Questions and Speculations
Author Index
Subject Index

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Page 273 - BEADLE, NCW 1954. Soil phosphate and the delimitation of plant communities in eastern Australia. Ecology 35 : 370-375.
Page 279 - EM 1970. Competition for nutrients by marine phytoplankton in oceanic, coastal, and estuarine regions.
Page 275 - Haydock. 1958. Soil phosphate and vegetal pattern in some natural communities of southeastern Queensland, Australia.
Page 282 - Soil-plant relationships in a Eucalyptus forest on the south coast of New South Wales.
Page 287 - CL 1978. Population responses of Lake Michigan phytoplankton to nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment. Hydrobiologia, 57, pp.
Page 287 - PATRICIA (1957) Dark Island Heath (Ninety Mile Plain, South Australia). I. Definition of the ecosystem.
Page 273 - JB COPE, - 1964 - Vegetation and soils in an eastern Indiana woods. Ecology 45: 777—792.
Page 283 - Monod, J. 1950. La technique de culture continue; théorie et applications. Ann. Inst. Pasteur 79: 390-410.

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