Lecture 28 - Ecological Communities

author: Stephen C. Stearns, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 19, 2010,   recorded: April 2009,   views: 4285
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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The idea of ecological communities has changed tremendously over the past forty years. The classical view stated that there were so many different species because evolution packed them tightly into the available niches. The modern view emphasizes the idea of trophic cascades, or top-down control in food chains. This emphasized the importance of predation in ecology, although it downplayed the significance of food webs, which showed the interrelated nature of ecosystems better than simple food chains.

Reading assignment:

Cotgreave, Peter and Irwin Forseth. Introductory Ecology, chapter 11

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