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Ecology of Climate ChangeThe Importance of Biotic Interactions$
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Eric Post

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148472

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148472.001.0001

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Community Dynamics and Stability

Community Dynamics and Stability

(p.163) Chapter 6 Community Dynamics and Stability
Ecology of Climate Change

Eric Post

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the implications of climate change for community composition, dynamics, and stability. It also looks at further examples in which climatic variability mediates interactions among species, in some cases degrading community stability and in other cases promoting it. Ecological theory offers contrasting predictions regarding the consequences for species coexistence and community stability of environmental variability. For instance, short-term instabilities in community composition owing to, for example, high-frequency environmental disturbance may promote the long-term coexistence of species by preventing competitive exclusion of one species by another. Other work suggests, however, that the stability of biological communities in stochastic environments is only possible if there is sufficiently strong self-regulation at one or more trophic levels, or if self-regulation is strong while species interactions are weak, because environmental erosion of population stability at one trophic level may contribute to instability of the community as a whole.

Keywords:   climate change, community composition, community dynamics, community stability, climatic variability, ecological theory, environmental variability, stochastic environments, environmental disturbance

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