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Selection: with tag 100-ecology-articles [17 articles] 

 

Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics

  
The American Naturalist, Vol. 101, No. 919. (1 May 1967), pp. 233-249, https://doi.org/10.1086/282487

Abstract

This paper is designed to draw attention to the relation between tropical climatic uniformity at a given site and the effectiveness of topographic barriers adjacent to the site in preventing movements of plants and animals. This is not an attempt to explain tropical species diversity (see Pianka, 1966, for a review of this subject), but rather to discuss a factor that should be considered in any discussion of the relation between topographic and climatic diversity, and population isolation. Simpson (1964) states ...

 

Regulation of lake primary productivity by food web structure

  
Ecology, Vol. 68, No. 6. (December 1987), pp. 1863-1876, https://doi.org/10.2307/1939878

Abstract

We performed whole—lake manipulations of fish populations to test the hypothesis that higher trophic levels regulate zooplankton and phytoplankton community structure, biomass, and primary productivity. The study involved three lakes and spanned 2 yr. Results demonstrated hierarchical control of primary production by abiotic factors and a trophic cascade involving fish predation. In Paul Lake, the reference lake, productivity varied from year to year, illustrating the effects of climatic factors and the natural dynamics of unmanipulated food web interactions. In Tuesday Lake, ...

 

Population regulation in snowshoe hare and Canadian lynx: asymmetric food web configurations between hare and lynx

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 94, No. 10. (13 May 1997), pp. 5147-5152

Abstract

The snowshoe hare and the Canadian lynx in the boreal forests of North America show 9- to 11-year density cycles. These are generally assumed to be linked to each other because lynx are specialist predators on hares. Based on time series data for hare and lynx, we show that the dominant dimensional structure of the hare series appears to be three whereas that of the lynx is two. The three-dimensional structure of the hare time series is hypothesized to be due ...

 

Regulation and stability of host-parasite population interactions: II - Destabilizing processes

  
Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 47, No. 1. (February 1978), pp. 249-267, https://doi.org/10.2307/3934

Abstract

[::1] Three categories of biological processes are shown to have a destabilizing influence on the dynamical behaviour of model host-parasite associations: parasite induced reduction in host reproductive potential, parasite reproduction within a host which directly increases parasite population size and time delays in parasite reproduction and transmission. [::2] The importance of parasitic species as regulators of host population growth is examined in light of empirical evidence. Data from two particular laboratory studies used to indicate the magnitude of this regulatory influence. ...

 

Regulation and stability of host-parasite population interactions: I - Regulatory processes

  
Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 47, No. 1. (February 1978), pp. 219-247, https://doi.org/10.2307/3933

Abstract

[::1] Several models describing the dynamics of host-parasite associations are discussed. [::2] The models contain the central assumption that the parasite increases the rate of host mortalities. The parasite induced changes in this rate are formulated as functions of the parasite numbers per host and hence of the statistical distribution of the parasites within the host population. [::3] The parameters influencing the ability of the parasite to regulate the growth of its host's population, and the stability of parasite induced equilibria, ...

 

Impact of food and predation on the snowshoe hare cycle

  
Science, Vol. 269, No. 5227. (25 August 1995), pp. 1112-1115, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.269.5227.1112

Abstract

Snowshoe hare populations in the boreal forests of North America go through 10-year cycles. Supplemental food and mammalian predator abundance were manipulated in a factorial design on 1-square-kilometer areas for 8 years in the Yukon. Two blocks of forest were fertilized to test for nutrient effects. Predator exclosure doubled and food addition tripled hare density during the cyclic peak and decline. Predator exclosure combined with food addition increased density 11-fold. Added nutrients increased plant growth but not hare density. Food and ...

 

Rules of thumb for judging ecological theories

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 19, No. 3. (March 2004), pp. 121-126, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2003.11.004

Abstract

An impressive fit to historical data suggests to biologists that a given ecological model is highly valid. Models often achieve this fit at the expense of exaggerated complexity that is not justified by empirical evidence. Because overfitted theories complement the traditional assumption that ecology is `messy', they generally remain unquestioned. Using predation theory as an example, we suggest that a fit-driven appraisal of model value is commonly misdirected; although fit to historical data can be important, the simplicity and generality of ...

 

The problem of pattern and scale in ecology: what have we learned in 20 years?

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 16 (1 May 2013), pp. 4-16, https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12048

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, major advances have clarified how ecological patterns inform theory, and how in turn theory informs applied ecology. Also, there has been an increased recognition that the problem of scale at which ecological processes should be considered is critical if we are to produce general predictions. Ecological dynamics is always stochastic at small scales, but variability is conditional on the scale of description. The radical changes in the scope and aims of ecology over the past decades reflect ...

 

Fluctuations of animal populations and a measure of community stability

  
Ecology, Vol. 36, No. 3. (1 July 1955), pp. 533-536, https://doi.org/10.2307/1929601

Abstract

[Excerpt] Three assumptions will be made and a conclusion will be deduced from these. Since the conclusion is not always correct, it mill be justifiable to conclude that one or more of the assumptions is responsible. First, temporarily assume that the amount of energy entering the community (at the lowest trophic level, of course) does not vary with time. Second, assume that the length of time that energy is retained by a species before being passed on to the next doesn't change ...

 

Community diversity: relative roles of local and regional processes

  
Science, Vol. 235, No. 4785. (09 January 1987), pp. 167-171, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.235.4785.167

Abstract

The species richness (diversity) of local plant and animal assemblages--biological communities--balances regional processes of species formation and geographic dispersal, which add species to communities, against processes of predation, competitive exclusion, adaptation, and stochastic variation, which may promote local extinction. During the past three decades, ecologists have sought to explain differences in local diversity by the influence of the physical environment on local interactions among species, interactions that are generally believed to limit the number of coexisting species. But diversity of the ...

 

The strategy of model building in population biology

  
American Scientist, Vol. 54, No. 4. (1966), pp. 421-431

Abstract

[Excerpt: Cluster of models] A mathematical model is neither an hypothesis nor a theory. Unlike the scientific hypothesis, a model is not verifiable directly by experiment. For all models are both true and false. Almost any plausible proposed relation among aspects of nature is likely to be true in the sense that it occurs (although rarely and slightly). Yet all models leave out a lot and are in that sense false, incomplete, inadequate. The validation of a model is not that it ...

 

The population dynamics of microparasites and their invertebrate hosts

  
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 291, No. 1054. (27 April 1981), pp. 451-524, https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.1981.0005

Abstract

We show how directly transmitted microparasites, broadly defined to include viruses, bacteria, protozoans and fungi, may regulate natural populations of invertebrate hosts. The study combines elements of conventional epidemiology (where the host population is assumed constant) with elements of prey-predator studies (which conventionally emphasize how prey and predator populations may be regulated by their interaction). To this end, we construct simple models embodying the essentials of the dynamical interaction between invertebrate hosts and their directly transmitted microparasites. In successive refinements, these ...

 

Character displacement

  
Systematic Zoology, Vol. 5, No. 2. (June 1956), pp. 49-64, https://doi.org/10.2307/2411924

Abstract

[Excerpt] It is the purpose of the present paper to discuss a seldom-recognized and poorly known speciation phenomenon that we consider to be of potential major significance in animal systematics. This condition, which we have come to call "character displacement," may be roughly described as follows. Two closely related species have overlapping ranges. In the parts of the ranges where one species occurs alone, the populations of that species are similar to the other species and may even be very difficult ...

 

Risks of population extinction from demographic and environmental stochasticity and random catastrophes

  
The American Naturalist, Vol. 142, No. 6. (1 December 1993), pp. 911-927, https://doi.org/10.1086/285580

Abstract

Stochastic factors affecting the demography of a single population are analyzed to determine the relative risks of extinction from demographic stochasticity, environmental stochasticity, and random catastrophes. Relative risks are assessed by comparing asymptotic scaling relationships describing how the average time to extinction, T, increases with the carrying capacity of a population, K, under each stochastic factor alone. Stochastic factors are added to a simple model of exponential growth up to K. A critical parameter affecting the extinction dynamics is the ...

 

Population biology of infectious diseases: part II

  
Nature, Vol. 280, No. 5722. (9 August 1979), pp. 455-461, https://doi.org/10.1038/280455a0

Abstract

In the first part of this two-part article (Nature 280, 361–367), mathematical models of directly transmitted microparasitic infections were developed, taking explicit account of the dynamics of the host population. The discussion is now extended to both microparasites (viruses, bacteria and protozoa) and macroparasites (helminths and arthropods), transmitted either directly or indirectly via one or more intermediate hosts. Consideration is given to the relation between the ecology and evolution of the transmission processes and the overall dynamics, and to the mechanisms ...

 

Effects of fish in river food webs

  
Science, Vol. 250, No. 4982. (09 November 1990), pp. 811-814, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.250.4982.811

Abstract

Experimental manipulations of fish in a Northern California river during summer base flow reveal that they have large effects on predators, herbivores, and plants in river food webs. California roach and juvenile steelhead consume predatory insects and fish fry, which feed on algivorous chironomid larvae. In the presence of fish, filamentous green algae are reduced to low, prostrate webs, infested with chironomids. When the absence of large fish releases smaller predators that suppress chironomids, algal biomass is higher, and tall upright ...

 

A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems

  
Nature, Vol. 421, No. 6918. (2 January 2003), pp. 37-42, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature01286

Abstract

Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a 'systematic trend'. Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change ...

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