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Modelling the ecology and evolution of communities: a review of past achievements, current efforts, and future promises
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
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2012 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology Research, ISSN 1522-0613, Vol. 14, no 5, 601-625 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The complexity and dynamical nature of community interactions makemodelling a useful tool for understanding how communities develop over time and howthey respond to external perturbations. Large community-evolution models (LCEMs) areparticularly promising, since they can address both ecological and evolutionary questions, andcan give rise to richly structured and diverse model communities.Questions: Which types of models have been used to study community structure and what aretheir key features and limitations? How do adaptations and/or invasions affect communityformation? Which mechanisms promote diverse and stable communities? What are theimplications of LCEMs for management and conservation? What are the key challenges forfuture research?Models considered: Static models of community structure, demographic community models,and small and large community-evolution models.Conclusions: Large community-evolution models encompass a variety of modelled traits andinteractions, demographic dynamics, and evolutionary dynamics. They are able to reproduceempirical community structures. They have already generated new insights, such as the dual roleof competition, which limits diversity through competitive exclusion yet facilitates diversitythrough speciation. Other critical factors determining eventual community structure arethe shape of trade-off functions, inclusion of adaptive foraging, and energy availability. A particularly interesting feature of LCEMs is that these models not only help to contrast

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 14, no 5, 601-625 p.
Keyword [en]
coexistence, community ecology, community evolution, niche theory, trait-based models
National Category
Natural Sciences Ecology Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67465OAI: diva2:612073
Available from: 2013-03-19 Created: 2013-03-19 Last updated: 2013-04-30Bibliographically approved

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Brännström, Åke
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