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Trends Ecol Evol. 2008 Jun;23(6):311-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.02.007. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

The evolutionary ecology of metacommunities.

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  • 1National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA.


Research on the interactions between evolutionary and ecological dynamics has largely focused on local spatial scales and on relatively simple ecological communities. However, recent work demonstrates that dispersal can drastically alter the interplay between ecological and evolutionary dynamics, often in unexpected ways. We argue that a dispersal-centered synthesis of metacommunity ecology and evolution is necessary to make further progress in this important area of research. We demonstrate that such an approach generates several novel outcomes and substantially enhances understanding of both ecological and evolutionary phenomena in three core research areas at the interface of ecology and evolution.

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