Emerging frontiers of community ecology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Community ecology is progressing in a number of important new directions. Among many possible future directions, I focus first on the important topic of biotic invasions, since they alter the world's natural communities as well as their ecological character. Examples of recent studies on the relation between diversity and invasibility and the importance of scale in such studies are discussed. Another important area is the study of the evolution of community patterns and processes, ranging from local dynamics to large-scale diversity gradients. Further suggestions concern questions surrounding the linking of the structure of ecological networks to empirically measured community dynamics, such as the linkage between dynamics and realized structure and the importance of assembly dynamics for common patterns. I suggest that an important goal is the construction of communitywide interaction networks, including competition, mutualisms and trophic interactions, that would represent the full complexity and dynamics of ecological communities more completely than traditional food webs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCommunity Ecology
Subtitle of host publicationProcesses, Models, and Applications
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191711169
ISBN (Print)9780199228973
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Biotic resistance
  • Complexity
  • Ecological network
  • Evolution
  • Invasion
  • Population dynamics
  • Size dependence
  • Spatial dynamics

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