Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lab-meeting 13 October 2015: on neutral theory, ecological drift and the utility of null models in ecology and evolution

Posted by Erik Svensson

For the lab-meeting this forthcoming week, I was thinking we should discuss a short - but hopefully provocative - opinion paper about the utility of the Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity (UNTB), which became famous but also controversial about 15 years ago when Stephen Hubbell published his Princeton-monographs. Proponents of the neutral theory, including Hubbel himself, sees UNTB as community ecology's counterpart to the neutral theory of molecular evolution in population genetics, and a rigorous point-of-departure and null model. Opponents - including some leading ecologists like Bob Ricklefs - dismiss UNTB on various empirical grounds. Who is right and who is wrong? Or can both sides be partly right? I hope we can have a good discussion about this.

I also hope to show some  unpublished and preliminary data on these questions from our ongoing research on damselflies and the prospects for ecological drift in these insects. 

Time and place as usual: "Argumentet", October 13 at 10.00.

By:Rosindell, J (Rosindell, James)[ 1,2,3 ] ; Hubbell, SP (Hubbell, Stephen P.)[ 4,5 ] ; He, FL (He, Fangliang)[ 6,7 ] ; Harmon, LJ (Harmon, Luke J.)[ 2,8 ] ; Etienne, RS (Etienne, Rampal S.)[ 9 ]

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