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The authors use new theoretical developments, analyses, and case studies to explore the large-scale mechanisms that generate and maintain diversity. Case studies of various regions and organisms consider how local and regional processes interact to determine patterns of species richness. The contributors emphasize the fact that ecological processes acting quickly on a local scale do not erase the effects of regional and historical events that occur more slowly and less frequently.
This book compels scientists to rethink the foundations of community ecology and sets the stage for further research using comparative, experimental, geographical, and historical data.