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January 28 , 2010

Trait-Mediated Indirect Interactions

Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives


There is increasing evidence that the structure and functioning of ecological communities and ecosystems are strongly influenced by flexible traits of individuals within species. A deep understanding of how trait flexibility alters direct and indirect species interactions is crucial for addressing key issues in basic and applied ecology. This book provides an integrated perspective on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of interactions mediated by flexible species traits across a wide range of systems. It is the first volume synthesizing the rapidly expanding research field of trait-mediated indirect effects and highlights how the conceptual framework of these effects can aid the understanding of evolutionary processes, population dynamics, community structure and stability, and ecosystem function. It not only brings out the importance of this emerging field for basic ecological questions, but also explores the implications of trait-mediated interactions for the conservation of biodiversity and the response of ecosystems to anthropogenic environmental changes.

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