By David Earl Brown, Frank Reichenbacher, Susan E. Franson
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Extra resources for A classification of North American biotic communities
In an effort to clarify biotic terminology, Kendeigh (1952) defined a biotic community as a biociation, each biociation having a distinctive species composition and occurring in a particular vegetation type that had become differentiated due to isolation and evolution. These biotic communities (or biociations) were in turn composed of one or more plant associations. , California chaparral. This description fits the general understanding of a biotic community presented here. As have their plant ecologist counterparts, zoologists have come to accept Gleason's (1926) concept that individual members of a community can, and do, evolve independently of the biotic community in which they reside.
Also ignored, at least for the time being, was his failure to adequately consider such factors as regional isolation. Few botanists, and none of the European zoologists, adopted Merriam's life-zone classification system. , Harshberger 1911; Shreve 1917; Shantz and Zön 1924). , Livingston and Shreve 1921). Not only were Merriam's temperature summations faulty and shown to be almost meaningless as limiting factors, his maps and terminology were found to have little application in the Eastern United States or the tropics (Dice 1923; Kendeigh 1932; Shelford 1932a, 1945; Daubenmire 1938, 1946).
The hierarchy is not rigorously systematic. , at the fourth or biotic community level the Northeastern Deciduous Forest is much larger in area and far greater in importance than Rocky Mountain Alpine Tundra). But such anomalies are common in biological systematics; the variety and distribution of the Passeriformes are greater than in the Gaviiformes, even though both orders have equal rank within the class Aves. Although the hierarchy reflects scales, it is not scale dependent. For example, a 10-m2 area of grass could be an interspace within Great Basin Conifer Woodland if the objective is a biotic community map at a scale of 1:125,000.
A classification of North American biotic communities by David Earl Brown, Frank Reichenbacher, Susan E. Franson