Figure 9.1 Two examples of limited spatial distributions of many similar competing species with short range of migration. The colors indicate the presence of different species in different habitat patches with probability of occupancy (p) greater than 0.2. (a) Very strong competitors exhibit practically exclusive spatial distributions, while (b) moderately strong competitors may end up with partly nested distributions. (See color insert following page 202.)

The modelling work that I have described in this section belongs to a rapidly expanding literature on metacommunity ecology and dynamics, reviewed by Holyoak et al. (2005) and Urban et al. (2008). Metacommunity dynamics have been studied within several different frameworks, of which the above model belongs to the patch dynamics framework. So far, metacommunity ecology has largely ignored the actual spatial configuration of the habitat, with some notable exceptions, for instance contributions that relate the species composition in local communities to the degree of isolation of the respective habitat patch in the landscape (Kruess 2003; Gripenberg and Roslin 2005; Tscharntke, Rand et al. 2005; van Nouhuys 2005).

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