Community Dynamics Contents
Yellowstone National Park as a study system for community dynamics.
- Section One: Disturbance and Succession
The roles of fire and succession in lodgepole pine forests of Yellowstone. Mechanisms of succession. How spatial variation in disturbance regimes affects communities.
- Section Two: Herbivores, Predators, and Ecosystem Engineers
Investigation of trophic cascades and interactions among wolves, elk and aspen in Yellowstone. Discussion of predation risk. Introduction to ecosystem engineers.
- Section Three: Introduction to Ecological Theory—Top-Down vs. Bottom Up Control
Top-down versus bottom-up control, including application to trophic cascades. Bottom-up forces in streams and lakes. Factors determining food-chain length.
- Section Four: Community Stability
How resistance, return time, and resilience affect the recovery of a disturbed community. Discussion of exotic species and stability, exemplified by lake trout in Yellowstone Lake. The stability-diversity hypothesis. Dominant and keystone species.