From a global perspective, dominance became evident to the first exploring naturalists, who already described the changing vegetation on Earth by large units such as biomes. These biomes are not necessarily defined by the dominance of single species, but often by the dominance of certain phylogenetic lineages and life-forms. Thus, regional species pools tend to be dominated by higher taxonomic or evolutionary units. As the regional species pool is highly important for the species being able to colonize local communities (and metacommunities), the historical processes leading to regional dominance will also affect dominance patterns in local communities. Especially models focusing on neutrality of species traits or assuming strong stochastic dispersal effects but weak local interactions propose a strong regional imprint on local community structure. The importance of these processes including speciation-extinction dynamics or range expansions for local community patterns is still strongly debated and will probably be different in different biomes.
Was this article helpful?