It is over twenty years since Jared Diamond focused attention on the possible existence of assembly rules for communities. Since then there has been a proliferation of studies trying to promote, refute or test the idea that there are sets of constraints (rules) on community formation and maintenance (assembly). This timely volume brings together carefully selected contributions which examine the question of the existence and nature of assembly rules with some rigour and in some detail, using both theoretical and empirical approaches in a variety of systems. The result is a balanced treatment which encompasses a wide range of topics within ecology including competition and coexistence, conservation and biodiversity, niche theory, and biogeography. As such it provides much to interest a broad audience of ecologists, while also making an important contribution to the study of community ecology in particular.
Evan Weiher is an Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, University of Winsconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA. Paul Keddy holds the Edward G. Schlieder Endowed Chair for Environmental Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana, USA.
Introduction Paul A. Keddy and Evan Weiher; Part I. The Search for Meaningful Patterns in Species Assemblages: 1. The genesis and development of guild assembly rules Barry J. Fox; 2. Ruling out a community assembly rule: the method of favored states Daniel Simberloff, Lewi Stone and Tamar Dayan; 3. Community structure and assembly rules: confronting conceptual and statistical issues with data on desert rodents Douglas A. Kelt and James H. Brown; 4. Introduced avifaunas as natural experiments in community assembly Julie L. Lockwood, Michael Moulton and Karla L. Balent; 5. Assembly rules in plant communities J. Bastow Wilson; 6. Assembly rules at different scales in plant and bird communities Martin L. Cody; 7. Impact of language, history and choice of system on the study of assembly rules Barbara D. Booth and Douglas W. Larson; Part II. Other Perspectives on Community Assembly: 8. On the nature of the assembly trajectory James A. Drake, Craig R. Zimmerman, Tom Purucker and Carmen Rojo; 9. Assembly rules as general constraints on community composition Evan Weiher and Paul A. Keddy; 10. A species-based, hierarchical model of island biogeography Mark V. Lomolino; 11. Interaction of physical and biological processes in the assembly of stream fish communities Elizabeth M. Strange and Theodore C. Foin; 12. Functional implications of trait-environment linkages in plant communities Sandra Diaz, Marcelo Cabido and Fernandez Casanoves; 13. When does restoration succeed? Julie L. Lockwood and Stuart L. Pimm; 14. Assessing the state of the assembly rules Paul Keddy; Index.