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By S. Charles Kendeigh

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By S. Charles Kendeigh

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Tracing the origin of taxonomic groups, their phylogenetic relations with other taxonomic is the subject matter of zoogeography. This knowledge is desirable for the ecological interpretation of communities, for it helps to explain their species composition and the geologi- groups, and their dispersal cal history of the community The mechanics called speciation, ogy as in it is animals comes However, the clisere usually requires a few thousands of years before changes in the community structure or composition become evident.

General nature of responses 1 7 The concept of the biotic community is basic to an understanding of ecology. We will here be concerned only with laying a foundation of general prinDetails will ciples. come in later chapters, but for know something about organized, how it functions, proper orientation we must how the and how community it may is be recognized. INTERNAL STRUCTURE AND PROCESSES Communitv and ecosystem A community, or biocenose, is an aggregate of organisms which form a distinct ecological unit.

In a sense, it is a collection of niches occupied by a particular set of species, but it is something that one can see and study in the field. Because of the great variation in composition and character of community-stands in different habitats and parts of the world, they need to be evaluated and classified in some logical manner for reference purposes. Com- munity-types are abstract groupings of individual community-stands which resemble one another and consequently must be defined rather arbitrarily.

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