Tag Archives: by Dan McGlinn

Stochastic and Deterministic Mechanisms of Assembly

Recently in seminar we discussed two influential papers:

  • Vellend, B. M. 2010. Conceptual Synthesis in Community Ecology. The Quarterly Review of Biology 85:183–206. (pdf)
  • Chase, J. M. 2007. Drought mediates the importance of stochastic community assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:17430–17434. (pdf)

I chose these papers because I feel that they do a good job of both laying the conceptual and practical groundwork necessary to advance  the debate between the relative importance of stochastic and deterministic processes in community ecology.

Before our discussion began there was a flurry of interesting tweets inspired by the readings:

tweet2 tweetsbeth_ross_tweetThese tweets helped set the tone for our discussion and led to some interesting discussion.

The key questions that we discussed during the seminar were:

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Introduction to Community Assembly

The first day of the USU community assembly seminar was a great success. We have a really excellent group of ecologists that seem excited to discuss the latest ideas in community assembly. To get the group all on the same conceptual page and to provide some historical context into the study of community assembly I put together a short lecture that summarizes the existing conceptual framework of community assembly and delves into the origins of the various ideas that it is based upon. The slides to my talk are here, enjoy!

Palmer, M. W. 1994. Variation in species richness – towards a unification of hypotheses. Folia Geobotanica & Phytotaxonomica 29:511–530.

HilleRisLambers, J., P. B. Adler, W. S. Harpole, J. M. Levine, and M. M. Mayfield. 2012. Rethinking Community Assembly through the Lens of Coexistence Theory. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 43:227–248.

see the blog’s bibliography for additional references