Biological Invasions and Ecosystem Properties: Can Species Make a Difference?

  • P. M. Vitousek
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 58)


How important are individual species in controlling ecosystem properties? Many studies of ecosystem-level dynamics are conducted with little reference to the influences of the individual species within ecosystems. In some cases this dis-regard is explicit, and it is argued that whole-system functional properties are better indicators of ecosystem status than is any aspect of species biology (O’Neill et al. 1977). This point of view has been deplored but not unambiguously disproved (cf. Foin and Jain 1977; Mcintosh 1980).


Biological Invasion Ecosystem Property Collective Property Great Smoky Mountain Montane Rain Forest 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

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  • P. M. Vitousek

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