The Roles of Harsh and Fluctuating Conditions in the Dynamics of Ecological Communities

  title={The Roles of Harsh and Fluctuating Conditions in the Dynamics of Ecological Communities},
  author={Peter Chesson and Nancy Huntly},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={519 - 553}
Harsh conditions (e.g., mortality and stress) reduce population growth rates directly; secondarily, they may reduce the intensity of interactions between organisms. Near‐exclusive focus on the secondary effect of these forms of harshness has led ecologists to believe that they reduce the importance of ecological interactions, such as competition, and favor coexistence of even ecologically very similar species. By examining both the costs and the benefits, we show that harshness alone does not… 
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