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Ecological NichesLinking Classical and Contemporary Approaches$
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Jonathan M. Chase and Mathew A. Leibold

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226101798

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226101811.001.0001

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Incorporating Biological Complexities

Incorporating Biological Complexities

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter Five Incorporating Biological Complexities
Source:
Ecological Niches
Author(s):

Jonathan M. Chase

Mathew A. Leibold

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226101811.003.0005

This chapter discusses four types of biological complexity: resource utilization (how interacting species differentially use distinct resource types); behavioral plasticity (variation in a species' behavioral traits in response to environmental, including biotic, conditions); resource allocation plasticity (variation in a species' morphological or physiological traits in response to environmental, including biotic, conditions); and demographic structure (variation in stage, size, and other factors that change with age in a species). It concludes that although there are many different types of biological realisms that characterize natural systems, many of the generalities derived from simpler models can still hold. Further, when complexities do change the nature of the interaction, they do not do so in a fundamentally unpredictable way.

Keywords:   biological complexity, resource utilization, behavioral plasticity, resource allocation plasticity, demographic structure

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