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The Theory of EvolutionPrinciples, Concepts, and Assumptions$
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Samuel M. Scheiner and David P. Mindell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226671024

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226671338.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Theory of Ecological Specialization

The Theory of Ecological Specialization

(p.232) Twelve The Theory of Ecological Specialization
The Theory of Evolution

Timothée Poisot

University of Chicago Press

Ecological specificity describes the affinity of an organism for a subset of every axis forming its ecological niche. It is a powerful concept that integrates concepts in evolutionary biology, such as local adaptation, with those in ecology, such as dispersal and biotic interactions. This chapter reviews the current perspective on the concept, and highlights areas where refinements of conceptual definitions are needed. In particular, it focuses on the potential of improving our understanding of ecological specificity as a way to gain more predictive ability on the evolution of ecological niches, species interactions, and species distributions.

Keywords:   ecological specificity, local adaptation, ecological niche, dispersal, biotic complexity

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