Repositioning Community Ecology in the 21st Century
Community ecology is undergoing striking changes in its questions, scope and methods. At the same time, its relation to other adjoining or overlapping domains is fuzzy: these include macroecology, biogeography, landscape ecology, metacommunity ecology, biodiversity, community genetics, and more. Hence we see the need and opportunity to review the current field of community ecology and evaluate whether, and in what, it is distinct of adjoining fields, focusing on their key questions and theoretical frameworks. This is to be discussed in the present workshop by a group with diversified expertise and conceptions. Questions and goals are to be examined as clusters in a “disciplinary space”, which can overlap to varying degrees. Recognizing real and spurious differences between research fields should help current and future researchers to position their work more clearly. It should also help others (e.g. funders, policy-makers) to make sense of the scientific mix from which they glean information relevant to various applications, including conservation, ecosystem services and responses to drivers of global change.