The Biology of Rarity: Causes and consequences of rare-common differences / Edition 1by W.E. Kunin
Pub. Date: 12/19/1996
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
The study of rare species has long fascinated biologists. Rare and common species may differ in body size, dispersal, reproduction and many other respects. The Biology of Rarity reviews documented patterns of such differences, and considers the methodological difficulties plaguing their interpretation. This book provides an unusually wide ranging picture of how patterns of species differences can be maintained.
The authors consider the potential roles of community assembly rules and speciation in biasing the set of species that become rare, of extinction in 'editing' that set, and the potential for changes in ecology, genetics and evolution to transform the characteristics of rare species over time. The potential role of phylogenetic comparisons in disentangling these processes is considered, along with potential applications to conservation biology.
Table of ContentsPart One: Rarity and rare-common differences. Introduction: on the causes and consequences of rare-common differences. Rare-common differences: an overview. What is rarity. Who is rare: Artefacts and complexities of rarity determination. Part Two: Mechanisms creating rare-common differences. Who gets the short bits of the broken stick? Speciation and rarity: separating cause from consequence. How do rare species avoid extinction: A paleontological view. Extinction risk and rarity on an ecological timescale. Population biology and rarity: on the complexity of density dependence in insect-plant interactions. Genetic consequences of different patterns of distribution and abundance. Evolved consequences of rarity. Rarity and evolution: some theoretical considerations. Part Three: Future directions. Predicting and understanding rarity: the comparative approach. Concluding comments. Index.
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