Ecological Niches: Linking Classical and Contemporary Approaches

Paperback | July 1, 2003

byJonathan M. Chase, Mathew A. Leibold

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Why do species live where they live? What determines the abundance and diversity of species in a given area? What role do species play in the functioning of entire ecosystems? All of these questions share a single core concept—the ecological niche. Although the niche concept has fallen into disfavor among ecologists in recent years, Jonathan M. Chase and Mathew A. Leibold argue that the niche is an ideal tool with which to unify disparate research and theoretical approaches in contemporary ecology.

Chase and Leibold define the niche as including both what an organism needs from its environment and how that organism's activities shape its environment. Drawing on the theory of consumer-resource interactions, as well as its graphical analysis, they develop a framework for understanding niches that is flexible enough to include a variety of small- and large-scale processes, from resource competition, predation, and stress to community structure, biodiversity, and ecosystem function. Chase and Leibold's synthetic approach will interest ecologists from a wide range of subdisciplines.

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Why do species live where they live? What determines the abundance and diversity of species in a given area? What role do species play in the functioning of entire ecosystems? All of these questions share a single core concept—the ecological niche. Although the niche concept has fallen into disfavor among ecologists in recent years, Jo...

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Why do species live where they live? What determines the abundance and diversity of species in a given area? What role do species play in the functioning of entire ecosystems? All of these questions share a single core concept—the ecological niche. Although the niche concept has fallen into disfavor among ecologists in recent years, Jo...

Jonathan M. Chase is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Washington University.Mathew A. Leibold is an associate professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, and was formerly associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at The University of Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:221 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:July 1, 2003Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226101800

ISBN - 13:9780226101804

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Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter One: Introduction: History, Context, and Purpose
Chapter Two: Revising the Niche Concept: Definitions and Mechanistic Models
Chapter Three: Comparing Classical and Contemporary Niche Theory
Chapter Four: Designs and Limitations of Empirical Approaches to the Niche
Chapter Five: Incorporating Biological Complexities
Chapter Six: Environmental Variability in Time and Space
Chapter Seven: Species Sorting in Communities
Chapter Eight: Community Succession, Assembly, and Biodiversity
Chapter Nine: Niche Relations within Ecosystems
Chapter Ten: The Evolutionary Niche
Chapter Eleven: Conclusions