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Publication Information

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Title: The coherence problem with th Unified Neutral Theory of biodiversity

Author: Clark, James S.;

Date: 2012

Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Cell Press. 27(4): 198-202.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity (UNTB), proposed as an alternative to niche theory, has been viewed as a theory that species coexist without niche differences, without fitness differences, or with equal probability of success. Support is claimed when models lacking species differences predict highly aggregated metrics, such as species abundance distributions (SADs) or species area distributions (SARs). Here, I summarize why UNTB generates confusion, and is not actually relevant to niche theory (i.e. an explanation for why and how many species coexist). Equal probability is not a theory, but lack of one; it does not include or exclude any process relevant to coexistence of competitors. Models lacking explicit species can make useful predictions, but this does not support neutral theory. I provide s suggestions that could help reduce confusion generated by the debate.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Clark, James S. 2012. The coherence problem with th Unified Neutral Theory of biodiversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol. 27(4): 198-202. 5 p.

 


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