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Organisms as Ecosystem Engineers

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Abstract

Interactions between organisms are a major determinant of the distribution and abundance of species. Ecology textbooks (e.g., Ricklefs 1984, Krebs 1985, Begon et al. 1990) summarise these important interactions as intra- and interspecific competition for abiotic and biotic resources, predation, parasitism and mutualism. Conspicuously lacking from the list of key processes in most text books is the role that many organisms play in the creation, modification and maintenance of habitats. These activities do not involve direct trophic interactions between species, but they are nevertheless important and common. The ecological literature is rich in examples of habitat modification by organisms, some of which have been extensively studied (e.g. Thayer 1979, Naiman et al. 1988).

Keywords

  • Ecosystem Management
  • Ecosystem Engineer
  • Keystone Species
  • Termite Mound
  • Ecological Engineering

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Jones, C.G., Lawton, J.H., Shachak, M. (1994). Organisms as Ecosystem Engineers. In: Ecosystem Management. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-4018-1_14

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