Eric R. Pianka Department of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas .. : Strictly speaking, a community is composed of all the organisms that live together in a particular habitat. Community structure concerns all the various ways in which the members of such a community relate to and interact with one another, as well as community-level properties that emerge from these interactions, such as trophic structure, energy flow, species diversity, relative abundance, and community stabilÂ ity. In practice, ecologists are usually unable to study entire communities, but instead interest is often focused on some convenient and tractable subset (usually taxonomic) of a particular community or series of communities. Thus one reads about plant communities, fish communities, bird communities, and so on. My topic here is the structure of lizard communities in this somewhat loose sense of the word (perhaps assemblage would be a more accurate description); my emphasis is on the niche relationships among such sympatric sets of lizard species, especially as they affect the numbers of species that coexist within lizard communities (species denÂ sity). So defined, the simplest (and perhaps least interesting) lizard communities would be those that contain but a single species, as, for instance,
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 1, 1973
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