Darwin and the First Ecological Experiment

@article{Hector2002DarwinAT,
  title={Darwin and the First Ecological Experiment},
  author={Andy Hector and Rowan E. Hooper},
  journal={Science},
  year={2002},
  volume={295},
  pages={639 - 640}
}
Could the very first ecological experiment have taken place in an English country garden? Apparently so, according to the Perspective by Hector and Hooper. These authors describe an elegant series of ecology experiments carried out during the early 19th century by George Sinclair, head gardener to the Duke of Bedford, in the gardens of Woburn Abbey. 
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References

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TLDR
It is proposed that Darwin's botanical arithmetic provided a great deal of the content of that principle and provided the information that disclosed problems which could only be solved by the intervention of an extra "force" in evolutionary theory.
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Larger numbers of species are probably needed to reduce temporal variability in ecosystem processes in changing environments and to determine how biodiversity dynamics, ecosystem processes, and abiotic factors interact.