Revisiting Hubbell 1997

The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, published as a monograph  in 2001, by Stephen Hubbell, is considered one of the most important recent developments in Ecology. What is, probably, less well-known is that the ideas in the book were originally laid out in a paper published in the journal Coral Reefs in 1997. … Continue reading Revisiting Hubbell 1997

Revisiting Werner et al. 1983

In a paper published in Ecology in 1983, Earl Werner, James Gilliam, Donald Hall and Gary Mittelbach, showed experimentally that small bluegill sunfish, which are vulnerable to predation by bass, showed an observable shift in foraging behaviour when bass are present choosing to forage in less-profitable habitats. Thirty-six years after the paper was published I … Continue reading Revisiting Werner et al. 1983

Revisiting Heinrich 1976

In a paper published in Ecological Monographs in 1976, Bernd Heinrich demonstrated, through careful observation and experiment on marked individuals, how bumblebees develop specialization in their foraging at the individual level, and examined the costs and benefits of of specialization through comparisons with other bee species. Forty years after the paper was published, I spoke … Continue reading Revisiting Heinrich 1976

Revisiting Bolnick et al. 2003

In a paper published in The American Naturalist in 2003, Daniel Bolnick, Richard Svanbäck, James A. Fordyce, Louie Yang, Jeremy Davis, Darrin Hulsey and Matthew Forister reviewed studies that examined individual specialization on resource use and quantified how much inter-individual variation contributes to a species' niche width. Based on their review, they discuss the ecological, … Continue reading Revisiting Bolnick et al. 2003

Revisiting Legendre 1993

In a paper published in Ecology in 1993, Pierre Legendre highlighted and proposed solutions to the problem of  "spatial autocorrelation" in the statistical analysis of ecological data. The methods proposed by Legendre have had a lasting impact on the analysis of field ecological research. Twenty-five years after the paper was published, I asked Pierre Legendre … Continue reading Revisiting Legendre 1993

Revisiting Hamilton and Zuk 1982

In a paper published in Science in 1982, William Hamilton and Marlene Zuk showed positive associations between the level of chronic blood infections and  display characteristics across North American Passerines. Based on these results they proposed a "good genes" model of sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk Hypothesis): display characteristics used in mate selection are indicators of parasite … Continue reading Revisiting Hamilton and Zuk 1982