Redundancy in Ecosystems

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Abstract

Redundant means surplus to requirements. Redundant words in a sentence can be deleted with no loss of clarity of meaning; factories make workers redundant but continue to produce cars, and so on. How much species redundancy is built into ecological processes? To what extent are patterns of biological diversity important in determining the behaviour of ecological systems (Lubchenco et al. 1991; Solbrig 1991; Walker 1991)?