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Does niche limitation exist



Does niche limitation exist



Functional Ecology 1(4): 391-398



1. Three sets of data are examined for evidence of niche limitation expressed as a deficit of variance in the number of species per sample, as compared to a null model with species occurring independently of each other. 2. An agricultural field of permanent pasture was sampled with contiguous quadrats. It showed no variance deficit but rather a significant variance excess. Subdividing the field floristically or environmentally to achieve greate homogeneity did not reduce this excess. 3. A fixed dune slope was sampled by a line of contiguous quadrats and analyzed as quadrat sizes in the range 20 mm .times. 20 mm to 1 m .times. 20 mm. There was no variance deficit at any quadrat size; at quadrat sizes up to 100 mm .times. 20 mm there was significant variance excess. 4. A reanalysis of Patrick's (1968) diatom data gave a variance deficit one year (but P = 0.5) and an excess the next. 5 It is questionable whether the concepts of niche limitation, and hence of species packing, are meaningful if they cannot be demonstrated even in favourable circumstances.

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Accession: 005189209

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/2389796


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