Patterns and Causes of Arctic Plant Community Diversity

  • M. D. Walker
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 113)


Attempts to explain and quantify community diversity have been a major paradigm in the development of modern ecology (e.g. Pielou 1975; MacArthur 1960; Whittaker 1965). Questions of the functional significance of diversity, and indeed whether species diversity alone has any functional significance, are also abundant (e.g. Hurlbert 1971; May 1973; Schulze and Mooney 1993). The taxonomic and genetic diversity within a community, the diversity among communities, and the diversity of communities on a landscape all contribute to regional diversity and are all aspects of community diversity. Genetic and species diversity are the building blocks of communities, and define the set of potential plant communities for a given region, but the plant communities into which these taxonomic and genetic units are organized are the most direct and easily measurable indication of overall ecosystem diversity, becuase they represent the integration of species and landscape. Understanding how the diversity of communities may change following a directional change in climate requires an understanding of the processes that control diversity at different levels.


Beta Diversity Alpha Diversity Plant Species Diversity Gamma Diversity Local Flora 
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 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint Facility for Regional Ecosystem Analysis, Institute of Arctic and Alpine ResearchUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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