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      Are communities saturated? On the relationship between alpha, beta and gamma diversity

      Ecology Letters
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Using local-regional richness plots to test for species saturation: pitfalls and potentials

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            Immigration and the Maintenance of Local Species Diversity.

            Explaining the maintenance of high local species diversity in communities governed by competition for space has been a long-standing problem in ecology. We present a simple theoretical model to explore the influence of immigration from an external source on local coexistence, species abundance patterns, and ecosystem processes in plant communities. The model is built after classical metapopulation models but is applied to competition for space between individuals and includes immigration by a propagule rain and an extinction threshold for rare species. Our model shows that immigration can have a huge effect on local species diversity in competitive communities where competition for space would lead to the exclusion of all but one species if the community were closed. Local species richness is expected to increase strongly when immigration intensity increases beyond the threshold required for the successful establishment of one or a few individuals. Community structure and species relative abundances are also expected to change markedly with immigration intensity. Increasing immigration causes total space occupation by the community to increase but primary productivity on average to either decrease or stay constant with increasing diversity, depending on the relation between immigration and local reproduction rates. These results stress the need for a regional perspective to understand the processes that determine species diversity, species abundance patterns, and ecosystem functioning in local communities.
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              Saturation of Bird Communities in the West Indies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecology Letters
                Ecol Letters
                Wiley-Blackwell
                1461-023X
                1461-0248
                March 2000
                March 2000
                : 3
                : 2
                : 73-76
                Article
                10.1046/j.1461-0248.2000.00127.x
                88037009-2aa6-42ef-95ef-a8c3dcac1811
                © 2000

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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