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Experimental Ecology

  • Wolfgang Schmidt
Chapter
Part of the Progress in Botany / Fortschritte der Botanik book series (BOTANY, volume 38)

Abstract

Perhaps two of the most abused words in the ecological literature in the past decade are ‘diversity’ and ‘stability’. At the Brookhaven Symposium (1969) on these topics, and the workshop meeting at York University in 1973 (USHER and WILLIAMSON), various biologists presented their theories of ecosystem stability. One suggestion (MURDOCH) is that the marked instability of agroecosystems and other artificial communities, in contrast with the stability of natural communities, results from the frequent disruption of crops by humans and from the lack in crop systems of coevolutionary links between the interacting species. This second feature is caused by the haphazardness of the collection of species in any given crop field, the changing selective regime imposed by humans, and the fact that crops have lost many species that were present in the previously existing natural communities. Recently formulated mathematical models of ecosystems suggest that physical complexity, especially a patchy distribution in space (e.g., old-field communities), enhances population stability (LEE and INMAN; STÖCKER and BERGMANN).

Keywords

Water Potential Leaf Water Potential Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Plant Water Status Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für GeobotanikGöttingenGermany

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