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Temporal Dynamics and Ecological Process

Assumes only a basic understanding of temporal dynamics
Introduces a range of approaches for the analysis of temporal processes
Establishes a connection between temporal niche dynamics and ecological issues

By: Colleen K Kelly (Editor), Michael G Bowler (Editor), Gordon A Fox (Editor)

325 pages, 68 b/w illustrations, 11 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jan 2014 | #207008 | ISBN-13: 9780521198639
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NHBS Price: £71.99 $88/€81 approx

About this book

In contrast with the fundamental ecological expectation that similarity induces competition and loss of species, temporal dynamics allows similar species to co-occur. In fact, the coexistence of similar species contributes significantly to species diversity and could affect ecosystem response to climate change. However, because temporal processes take place over time, they have often been a challenge to document or even to identify. Temporal Dynamics and Ecological Process brings together studies that have met this challenge and present two specific aspects of temporal processes: reproductive scheduling and the stable coexistence of similar species. By using plants to extract general principles, these studies uncover deep ties between temporal niche dynamics and the above central ecological issues, thereby providing a better understanding of what drives temporal processes in nature. Written by leading scientists in the field, Temporal Dynamics and Ecological Process will be a valuable source of reference to research ecologists and those interested in temporal ecology.

"It is generally believed, and indeed is often true, that species which are very similar will tend to compete, with the more effective competitor excluding the weaker. This important and interesting book shows that – to the contrary – the co-existence of similar species can greatly enrich the diversity of communities, and also can help in responding to, or recovering from, environmental disturbance. The book uses studies of plant communities to document these general principles, placing particular emphasis on reproductive scheduling and its role in the stable coexistence of similar species. The book deserves a wide audience."
– Robert M. May, University of Oxford

"Ecologists have long talked about temporal variability, such as in rainfall, but largely as perturbations to a more static, idealized equilibrium. Yet, temporal variation is a pervasive feature of the natural world, and species have evolved to exploit such variation. Species can also generate novel sources of temporal variation, such as the dramatic phenomenon of masting. This well-crafted book, containing chapters by many distinguished ecologists, draws together excellent case studies from a range of field systems, along with theory on the storage effect and evolution of masting, to champion the view that temporal variation is central to the generation and maintenance of biological diversity. It should be on the shelves of all ecologists who care deeply about the factors governing ecological communities, and about the preservation of biodiversity in our ever-changing world."
– Robert D. Holt, University of Florida, and co-editor of Trait-Mediated Indirect Interactions (2012)

" [...] a book that will stimulate and inspire those already well versed in the questions raised, but it is clearly aimed at specialist research level."
- Peter Moore, The Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 46(1), March 2015


1. Introduction Colleen K. Kelly, Michael G. Bowler and Gordon A. Fox

Part I. Observing Temporal Processes in Nature:
2. The storage effect: definition and tests in two plant communities Peter Chesson, Nancy J. Huntly, Stephen H. Roxburgh, Marissa Pantastico-Caldas and Jose M. Facelli
3. What temporal processes in trees tell us about competition, community structure and speciation Colleen K. Kelly, Michael G. Bowler, Gordon A. Fox, Arturo Solís-Magallanes, J. Marcela Ramos Tapia, Pilar Lopera Blair, Susan Schwinning, John N. Williams and Jeffrey Joy
4. Testing the storage effect with long-term, observational data Peter B. Adler
5. Seedling herbivory and the temporal niche Michael E. Hanley and Rebecca J. Sykes
6. Temporal variation in density dependence in an herbaceous community Norma L. Fowler and Craig M. Pease
7. Population and community dynamics in variable environments: the desert annual system D. Lawrence Venable and Sarah Kimball
8. Temporal niches, ecosystem function, and climate change Susanne Schwinning, Gordon A. Fox and Colleen K. Kelly

Part II. Application to Specific Questions:
9. Evolution of synchronized and intermittent reproduction (masting) of trees: key role of regeneration dynamics Yoh Iwasa, Akiko Satake and Yuuya Tachiki
10. Spatiotemporal variation can promote coexistence more strongly than temporal variation Robin E. Snyder
11. Roles of pollinator attraction and environmental fluctuation in inducing flowering synchrony Akiko Satake, Yuuya Tachiki and Yoh Iwasa
12. Temporal dynamics and the spread of insect resistance transgenes Michael G. Bowler, Felix Breden and Colleen K. Kelly
13. Concluding remarks Gordon A. Fox, Michael G. Bowler and Colleen K. Kelly


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Colleen K. Kelly is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. Her research interests focus on temporal dynamics, community assembly and ecosystem function. She has published widely on these topics and has been a principal investigator or co-PI on various funded projects in the US, the UK and Mexico.

Michael G. Bowler has worked at the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford for over 40 years. His research interest is focused on particle physics. He has taken part in several major collaborations in this field, most recently the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. He has authored or co-authored 150 papers and written five books.

Gordon A. Fox is Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. His main area of research is plant ecology and theoretical population biology. His recent work has focused on demographic heterogeneity and its causes and consequences including both theoretical studies and research with populations of pines, lilies and Florida scrub-jays.

- Colleen K. Kelly
- Michael G. Bowler
- Gordon A. Fox
- Peter Chesson
- Nancy J. Huntly
- Stephen H. Roxburgh
- Marissa Pantistico-Caldas
- Jose M. Facelli
- Arturo Solís-Magallanes
- J. Marcela Ramos Tapia
- Pilar Lopera Blair
- Susanne Schwinning
- John N. Williams
- Jeffrey Joy
- Peter B. Adler
- Michael E. Hanley
- Rebecca J. Sykes
- Norma L. Fowler
- Craig M. Pease
- D. Lawrence Venable
- Sarah Kimball
- Yoh Iwasa
- Akiko Satake
- Yuuya Tachiki
- Robin E. Snyder
- Felix Breden

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