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Selection at the level of the community: the importance of spatial structure


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Johnson, CR and Boerlijst, MC (2002) Selection at the level of the community: the importance of spatial structure. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 17 (2). pp. 83-90. ISSN 0169-5347

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To ask whether natural selection occurs at the level of the community is to
consider whether communities represent a major transition in evolution - can
particular community configurations evolve and maintain their integrity in the
face of disruption arising from the self-interest of component individuals? This
requires heritable variation among subcommunities in a landscape, and that
alternative subcommunities maintain a degree of individuality in both time
and space. Recently developed models show that spatial self-structuring in
multispecies systems can meet both criteria and provide a rich substrate for
community-level selection and a major transition in evolution.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Johnson, CR and Boerlijst, MC
Keywords: multilevel selection; community-level selection; communities; spatial structure; spatial self-organising; transitions in evolution
Journal or Publication Title: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Page Range: pp. 83-90
ISSN: 0169-5347
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02385-0
Additional Information:

Definitive version available online at

Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:18
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