Revisiting Fahrig and Merriam 1985

In a paper published in Ecology in 1985, Lenore Fahrig and Gray Merriam presented a model for changes in population sizes in a set of interconnected patches, which predicted that populations in isolated patches will grow at a slower rate and are thus morel likely to go extinct than those in connected patches. Fahrig and … Continue reading Revisiting Fahrig and Merriam 1985


Revisiting Bascompte et al. 2003

In a paper published in PNAS in 2003, Jordi Bascompte, Pedro Jordano, Carlos Melián and Jens Olesen investigated the structural organisation of 52 mutualistic networks and found them to be highly nested, resulting in communities centred around a smaller core of interactions. Bascompte and colleagues also found that communities that contained a greater number of … Continue reading Revisiting Bascompte et al. 2003

Revisiting Ebert 1994

In a paper published in Science in 1994, Dieter Ebert showed, using laboratory experiments on a horizontally-transmitted disease in Daphnia, that spore production and infection was lower when the geographic distance between parasite and wild-caught Daphnia host origins were greater. Ebert's findings suggested that parasites were locally adapted and contradicted the hypothesis that co-evolved parasites … Continue reading Revisiting Ebert 1994

Revisiting Colwell and Lees 2000

In a paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution in 2000, Robert Colwell and David Lees reviewed the conceptual and empirical literature on the influence of the "mid-domain effect" - geometric constraints in geographic patterns of species richness caused by physiological and physiographical boundaries. Sixteen years after the paper was published, I asked Robert … Continue reading Revisiting Colwell and Lees 2000

Revisiting Abrams et al. 1993

In a paper published in Evolutionary Ecology in 1993, Peter Abrams, Hiroyuki Matsuda and Yasushi Harada developed models to examine adaptive change in continuous traits under different conditions, and show that they can result in both stable fitness minima and unstable fitness maxima. Abrams and colleagues also discuss real biological scenarios in which the adaptive … Continue reading Revisiting Abrams et al. 1993

Revisiting West-Eberhard 1975

In a paper published in The Quarterly Review of Biology in 1975, Mary Jane West-Eberhard reviewed the literature on kin selection and  outlined "social, ecological and developmental factors" that might influence the evolution of beneficial social interactions. West-Eberhard was motivated to write this paper because she felt that there was too much emphasis on the … Continue reading Revisiting West-Eberhard 1975