RODRIGUEZ CABAL mariano Alberto
Positive interactions in ecology: filling the fundamental niche.
MARIANO A. RODRIGUEZ CABAL; M. NOELIA BARRIOS GARCIA; MARTIN A. NUNEZ
Ideas in Ecology and Evolution
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario Canada
Lugar: Kingston; Año: 2012 vol. 5 p. 36 - 41
The role of negative interactions in shaping ecological communities and the realized niches of species has been a focus of considerable research for at least decades. Traditionally, the discrepancy between the size of the fundamental and realized niches of a species was attrib- uted to the effect of negative interactions, such that the realized niche is always smaller than the fundamental niche. However, in the last decade, a series of studies have highlighted the important role that positive inter- actions played in shaping the structure of communities. This renewed interest in positive interactions has led to a reconsideration of the niche concept. Specifically, some investigators have suggested that positive interact- ions can lead the realized niche of a species to be larger than its fundamental niche. Here, we show that, although positive interactions can counteract the effects of negative interactions and possibly modify the realized niche of a species, the realized niche of a species can never be larger than the fundamental niche.