Studying ecological communities from a neutral standpoint: a review of models' structure and parameter estimation

Abstract : Neutral models provide an alternative to niche-based assembly rules of ecological communities by assuming that communities' properties are shaped by the stochastic interplay between ecological drift, migration and speciation. The recent and ongoing interest about neutral assumptions has produced many developments on the theoretical side, with nevertheless limited echoes in terms of analyses of real-world data. The present review paper aims to help bridge the widening gap between modellers and field ecologists through two objectives. First, to provide a multi-criteria typology of the main neutral models, including those from population genetics that have not yet been transposed to ecology, by considering how the fundamental processes of ecological drift, speciation and migration are modelled and, specifically, how space is taken into account. Second, to review methods recently proposed to estimate models parameters from field data, a point that should be mastered to allow for broader applications
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Submitted on : Monday, February 8, 2010 - 11:55:57 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 11, 2019 - 2:30:14 PM

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Champak R. Beeravol, Pierre Couteron, Raphaël Pélissier, François Munoz. Studying ecological communities from a neutral standpoint: a review of models' structure and parameter estimation. Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, 2009, 220 (20), pp.2603-2610. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.06.041⟩. ⟨halsde-00454243⟩

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