生物多样性 ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (6): 579-593.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.09142

所属专题: 群落中的物种多样性:格局与机制

• 论文 • 上一篇    下一篇

群落构建的中性理论和生态位理论

牛克昌1*, 刘怿宁1, 沈泽昊1, 何芳良2 ,方精云1   

  1. 1 (北京大学城市与环境学院生态学系, 北京大学地表过程分析与模拟教育部重点实验室, 北京 100871)
    2 (Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H1)
  • 收稿日期:2009-06-03 出版日期:2009-11-20

Community assembly: the relative importance of neutral theory and niche theory

Kechang Niu1*, Yining Liu1, Zehao Shen1, Fangliang He2, Jingyun Fang1   

  1. 1 Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Proc-esses of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2 Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H1
  • Received:2009-06-03 Online:2009-11-20

物种共存和生物多样性维持一直是生态学研究的中心论题。基于物种生态位分化的群落构建理论已经发展了近一个世纪, 但我们对群落构建和生物多样性维持的机理仍然不清楚。近年来, 群落中性理论以其简约性和预测能力成为群落生态学研究的焦点, 但由于其“物种在生态功能上等价”的假设与大量研究结果相悖, 同时对自然群落结构的准确预测也只限于少数的生态系统, 因而饱受质疑。如今, 越来越多的生态学家认为群落构建的生态位理论与中性理论之争的最终归宿应该是二者的整合。 在本文中, 我们在简要回顾生态位理论和群落中性理论发展的基础上, 分析二者之间的主要分歧和互补性, 试图梳理二者整合的途径。我们认为, 尽管中性理论的发展极大地丰富了群落构建理论, 但二者的整合尚处于初级阶段; 群落构建零模型假说、中性—生态位连续体假说、随机生态位假说等都不失为有价值的尝试, 今后需要在其他类型的生态系统中进行实验验证, 以更好地理解确定性过程和随机过程在决定群落构建和生物多样性维持中的作用。

Understanding species coexistence and the maintenance of biodiversity has long been the central interest of ecologists. The niche-based theory of community assembly has dominated community ecology for nearly a century, yet understanding of the mechanisms of species coexistence has remained elusive. The newly developed neutral theory of biodiversity has offered a promising alternative to the niche paradigm. The analytical elegance and simplicity of the neutral theory and its predictive power have made the theory widely popular. However, it is the very same simplicity of the theory (e.g. the symmetric assumption) that makes the theory vulnerable to stark criticisms. Widespread empirical evidence has shown that species in communities are not functionally symmetric; ecological equivalence is more a conceptual simplicity than a biological real-ism. Recognizing that niche and neutral processes do not have to diametrically oppose each other and a community is likely determined by the interplay of the two processes, ecologists currently are searching to reconcile the two theories by either incorporating drift into niche theory or niche into the neutral framework. However, this reconciliation process is still at its very early stage, we expect this direction will lead to a more complete understanding of community assembly mechanisms. In this paper, we provide a review on the brief histories of the niche and neutral theories, with the focus on comparing the distinct importance of the two theories in explaining community assembly. We discuss in details several integrated models that attempt to unify the niche and neutral theories. We argue that it is an essential step for any successful theory to with-stand substantial experimental and field tests. The experimental tests of neutral theories are an important di-rection that has currently not received due attention.

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