An Unified Neutral Theory Of Biodiversity And Biogeography Essay

1574 Words Oct 19th, 2016 7 Pages
Neutral community theory, also known as the unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography was set-forth in literature in 2001 by Stephen Hubbell however it draws largely upon pre-established, and widely accepted, ecological theories of island biogeography (MacArthur and Wilson, 1967). The original model proposed by MacArthur and Wilson was constructed to account for variation in the composition of birds found in different sized areas as well as their relative abundance and compositional changes over temporal and spatial locations. The basic frame-work of the neutral model was that the number of species (species, used here in the ecological concept wherein a species is a set of organisms adapted to a particular set of resources and organisms which are able to produce viable offspring belong to the same species) on any island reflects a balance between the rate of colonization by new species and the rate at which previously established species become extinct.
Their model proposed that given two environments, the rate at which transient species would immigrate and establish populations was highest when one environment was most empty and that as the population of the once empty environment increased, the rate at which resident populations would go extinct would increase. They theorized that in between the two fluxes of immigration and species extinction that there existed a Neutral space wherein the two rates are equal and the equilibrium of species in vs species…

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